Manure Separation

Manure Separation and Dewatering is widely used in the dairy industry as a means of managing nutrients and creating beneficial byproducts for the dairy. The manure separation process essentially creates two products. The first product consists of the larger manure fibers that are mechanically removed. Depending on the process used, these fibers can still contain a significant amount of moisture, ranging from a high of 90% to a low of 70% depending on the equipment used. To remove more moisture from these fibers, a second dewatering step is sometimes added. The second product produced in the separation process is the liquid portion. This portion contains the remaining small fibers and water. It also generally contains the bulk of the nutrients as well. Manure separation equipment helps the dairy manage their manure to suit their needs.

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Why McLanahan Manure Separation and Dewatering

Proper manure management often involves some form of Manure Separation and Dewatering. McLanahan offers several different technologies depending on the dairy's needs.

Dairies using sand bedding will find that Rotary Drums and Roll Presses are the best option for separation and dewatering. These two technologies don’t see excessive wear from residual sand that may be in the manure. In systems where process water is needed for fluming or sand separation, the Rotary Drum can be used independent of a Roll Press. In these systems, the separated fibers are recombined with excess liquid and pumped to storage. In other cases, a Roll Press is paired with the Rotary Drum and used to dewater the large fibers for storage and spreading.

McLanahan’s team of manure experts will help determine the equipment that is right for your dairy's needs.

How Manure Separation and Dewatering Works

McLanahan designs and manufacturers several different machines for Manure Separation and Dewatering. Despite the differences in design, they all function pretty much the same way. In all cases, manure is pumped to the Separator, which contains a wedge wire, mesh or perforated screen. This screen captures a portion of the larger fibers while allowing the smaller fibers and water to drain through.

A Rotary Drum essentially thickens the manure, discharging at about 88% moisture content. If more dewatering is needed, a Roll Press can be used to squeeze the water from the thickened fibers. Rotary Drums and slope screens are well-suited for dilute slurries because of their large screening surface areas. 

Popular Applications of Manure Separation and Dewatering

Manure Separation and Dewatering systems are used to manage nutrients on the farm, produce dewatered manure solids bedding, reduce manure storage capacity, produce better process and flume water, and make lagoon water that is easier to manage.

Benefits of McLanahan Manure Separation and Dewatering

  • Produce cleaner process water for flushing, fluming and separation
  • Reduce the amount of organics that are pumped to storage lagoons
  • Reduce the volume of material that goes to the storage lagoon
  • Manage nutrients smarter
  • Create bedding material for your stalls
  • Remove troublesome debris from downstream pumping systems
  • Can be used with any bedding source, including sand or manure solids

Manure Separation Models

McLanahan Roll Press Roll Presses
McLanahan Rotary Drum Rotary Drum Separators

Frequently Asked Questions

What technology is best for me?

This depends on several things, like bedding type and purposes for the system. Click here for a chart to help you decide.

How are the nutrients split with the separated fibers and liquid?

Numerous studies and tests have been done to determine where the nutrients end up after separation and dewatering. More information on the nutrient content of the separated fibers and liquid from a few samples we’ve tested can be found here.

What percentage of fibers are captured with these different technologies?

The capture rate for these different technologies depends primarily on the screen opening size and the thickness of the liquid being processed. This chart shows the relative approximate capture rates related to thickness and screen opening size.

How dry can you get your dewatered fibers?

Different technologies yield different results, but they are all based on how much pressure is applied to the manure fibers. As pressure increases, so does wear on the associated parts. More information on the dryness that can be obtained using these different technologies can be found here.

Can I use any of these technologies for dewatering fibers for bedding?

Yes. The most widely used equipment for making manure bedding is a Screw Press. Screw Presses work great for reducing moisture content to a point where it can be used for bedding, usually about 70%. The ultimate in cow comfort and dryness when using manure fibers is accomplished with a Manure Bedding Dryer.