Irvin Millin is an amazing, enthusiastic guy who was intrigued when he saw Russians using flies to decompose chicken manure.
|Fly larvae make a lot of penny profits|
Now he is poised to start a commercial-scale pilot project at the Arkell Research Centre run by the University of Guelph. He outlined his "invention" at a recent research meeting organized by the Poultry Industry Council.
The Russians began researching flies to digest human manure and other organic wastes that would pose a challenge in any space flight to Mars.
Milin, who is an engineer, says flies convert chicken manure into two great products - protein for poultry rations and fertilizer for fields. His system also eliminates odours which annoy neighbours.
He boasts that the process uses no chemicals, does no harm to the environment and eliminates ammonium, which is responsible for the pungent odours.
He said the Russian research in Siberia ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s economy.
That research team realized the potential to deal with many wastes, provided they could scale up the process to industrial size. They haven’t yet made it, but Milin believes he has.
He has run a small prototype at the Arkell Research Station and now is moving up to a commercial-scale prototype.
He showed how fly larvae multiply quickly as they consume and churn poultry litter, reducing it to a fine substance within four to six days that “smells like chocolate cookies,” he said. He also described it as smelling like a forest floor.
He’s had interest from the United States Department of Agriculture, from Peel Region which wants to try it on organic wastes and from Chinese who want to buy the technology. He said Peel’s organic wastes may need a different species of flies from those he’s using on poultry litter.
He also thinks there’s potential to decompose deadstock and solid waste from meat-packing plants.
|Processed manure is like coffee grounds.|
Milin says they could be pelletized.
It will also be a way to produce feed-ration protein on farm, he said.
He said the flies die within 30 days and their bodies are simply added to the material being processed.
The manure moves on a belt and in a relatively thin layer- so there’s good air exposure.
He said scaling the system up means basically adding more belt capacity. His first prototype could 100 to 250 kilograms per day and the new one will be scaled up to handle 200 to 300 kilograms per day.
The larger the scale, the greater the efficiency, he said, suggesting that a commercial operation would need to process about two tons a day to be profitable. That might mean collecting manure from several farms.
The fly larvae won’t work for liquid manure. “They would drown,” Milin said.
Milin is an inventor who has made money from previous patents, including one for electroplating plastics. He has applied for patents for some aspects of his fly-larvae processing system.
He began his research “in a shack in my back yard,” he said.
The process is “very profitable,” he said, partly because of the protein recovery for animal feed. He said chickens excrete about 70 per cent of the nutrients they consume.
“The final products are a very rich and stable organic fertilizer and a protein-rich animal feed, “ he wrote in a paper accompanying his presentation.
He calls his technology Milinator.