ForTheDoers Blog

Galloping towards a clean circular economy

Anssi Paalanen 24 January 2017, 14:40

With the new amendment to the EU regulation, the combustion of manure will be allowed without a separate waste combustion permit. Now that manure is classified as a biofuel, an increasing number of power plants in the EU can utilise horse manure.

Horse and a girl with a coffee cup

Horse manure is a challenge, particularly for stables located in urban areas in the middle of residential housing. The stables don’t necessarily have their own fields where they can spread the manure. So new kinds of solutions for handling horse manure are needed. The EU regulation amendment significantly improves the opportunities for manure use and promotes the realisation of a circular economy in our society. Everyone benefits from the use of horse manure in energy production: local residents get cleanly produced local energy, stable owners have one less thing to worry about, and the local economy gets a boost.

The service we offer to stable owners includes delivery of customer-selected, wood-based bedding to the stable and pick-up of the manure. The manure collected from the stables is delivered to power and heat plants where it is used together with other fuels to produce electricity and heat.

Our service has been operating in Finland for over a year. We have received positive feedback and great suggestions from stables and from power plants. Already more than one hundred stable owners have been able to leave their bedding and manure concerns with us and focus on the essential: their horses. With the amendment to the EU regulation, we can offer our services more widely in Finland and Europe.

From stable to socket – cleanly

Horse manure combustion and its eco-friendliness raises a lot of discussions. The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) have studied the lifecycle environmental impacts of horse manure in energy use. The study compared the environmental impacts of combusting a wood-based bedding/manure mixture to the impacts of composting the manure.

The results indicate that, in terms of the climate impacts, the HorsePower service we offer is a significantly better alternative than composting in all the impact categories examined. When manure is utilised in large-scale power and heat plants, the manure doesn’t have time to decompose and thus no significant amounts of methane are released from the manure. The climate impact of methane is manifold compared to that of carbon dioxide. Also the small particle impact in the HorsePower solution proved to be clearly less compared to composting.

So we can proudly say that our HorsePower service is a genuinely eco-friendly solution for the bedding and manure management of horse stables. And, the electricity and heat produced with the manure/bedding mixture is truly local energy.

Anssi Paalanen
VP HorsePower