Friday, October 15th, 2010

Wanted: Hog manure

Company using swine waste to make asphalt wants local operation

By Nancy Allen
The owner of an Ohio-based company that makes an asphalt-like product using swine manure wants to talk to Mercer County hog producers.
If there is enough interest from local hog farmers to provide their manure, NuVention Solutions, Valley View, would like to set up an operation in the county within a year, according to owner Jim Sattler.
"The purpose of Tuesday's meeting is to let hog producers be aware of the technology and generate interest in the farming community about it," Sattler said. "Once we have a demonstration unit in place that shows this is possible and not just some fantasy of mine, I don't think we'll have any problems finding investors."
The first commercial demonstration unit is under construction at a farm in Ashland County near the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center of Ohio State University, Wooster. NuVention has a 20-year agreement with the 40,000-head Shoup Farm to use its manure for the demonstration unit.
NuVention has been working with Jumpstart Inc., Cleveland, a nonprofit company that helps companies in Ohio commercialize technology.
NuVention completed its first test project using hog manure asphalt to pave an access road leading to Six Flags Amusement Park in May. Sattler said NuVention has an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation to lay a 10-mile test strip near Cincinnati in 2011. The bioresin product made from hog manure is blended with and replaces 10 to 15 percent of the total petroleum-base in asphalt.
Sattler said in Mercer County he would install portable units the size of a flatbed trailer at individual farms. The units would separate the manure solids and then "pressure cook" them in a reactor, producing a thick, black asphalt-type substance called bio oil. The bio oil would then be pumped into a 6,000 gallon storage tank. Trucks would take the bio oil to a facility that blends it with conventional petroleum-based asphalt or to a facility that blends it with other polymers to make various commercial fertilizer coatings.
Sattler said each unit would be designed to handle manure from 5,000 to 10,000 hogs. The company would supply all the equipment and the farmer would be paid about $9 per pig, per year for the manure. Sattler said his company is using hog manure because it was used in early research and there is a lot of it. An Ohio EPA permit is required to build the commercial facility, Sattler said, adding that EPA officials have indicated there would be no problem getting the permit.
Sattler said eventually his company intends to look into using other types of livestock manure and perhaps human waste to make the product.
The portable units would need to be washed down before they are moved between farms for biosecurity purposes.
"We would pay for it, operate it, and the farmer would get a certain percentage, about 8-10 percent of the sale value of the bio oil," Sattler said. "The farmer would keep the byproduct gray water and could use it as a fertilizer to irrigate crops."
Sattler said he has been successful on a pilot scale and as long as he can have a steady supply of hog manure and produce the bio oil, it should work.
According to 2008 USDA agricultural statistics, Mercer County had 279,000 pigs and was ranked first in hog production in Ohio.
Sattler said Mercer County is the place to be.
"My goal is, if we are successful, I want farmers to be successful, too," Sattler said. "Not to cheat anybody but to make this a viable business for us, the farmers and our investors, too."

Meeting for hog farmers:
What: Meeting for local hog farmers to learn about technology that uses swine manure to make an asphalt-like substance, roof coating and time-release coating for commercial fertilizer
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: OSU Extension meeting room, second floor, Mercer County Central Services Building, Celina.
Speaker: Jim Sattler, president and owner of NuVention Solutions, Valley View.
For information: Contact Jim Sattler at 330-714-4117 or e-mail or go to, or Jim Hoorman, Mercer County OSU Extension educator, at 419-586-2179.
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