Science - June 15, 2012

Environment-friendly Starplus barn used in Sterksel

The pig innovation centre in Sterksel, part of Wageningen UR, has started to use the new Starplus pig barn. The barn, which has a free-range area for pigs, is energy neutral and environment-friendly.

The design of the Starplus barn
The barn is energy neutral, thanks to its own manure decomposer. Moreover, the quick transport of excretions via a manure corridor can reduce ammonia emissions by 70 percent, smells by 75 percent and methane by 80 percent, as a result of which no air washers will be needed. The barn has an outdoor free-range area for pigs and uses natural ventilation.
The test centre will now monitor the new barn to see if it lives up to its sustainability claims. This will include measuring the yield of the manure fermentation set-up located at the barn. Sterksel revealed last week that pig manure fermented in the other decomposers at the experimental farm is not cost-effective The major reason is that the manure cannot be brought to a decomposer within one day, resulting in a huge loss in gas production. Since the Starplus barn decomposer will be fed with fresh manure, the applied researchers expect to get more yield. 

Re:act