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Taiwan builds plant to turn pig waste into biogas

Taiwan’s Changhua County has recently launched a plant to recycle pig waste into clean water, organic fertiliser and biogas for power generation

Changhua County has the country’s third highest number of hogs, and around 90 per cent of pig raisers are small or medium operations of below 5,000 hogs.

Without sufficient funds to build their own treatment facilities, they used to discharge the waste directly into the Dongluo River, creating a serious environmental problem plaguing the locals.

At the launch of Dongluo treatment plant, Changhua County magistrate Cho Po-yuan, said, “Pig slurry can be turned into green gold. This is the first facility fully funded by a local government to help pig farmers reduce costs and save efforts in handling the waste.”

To find a solution, Cho led a fact-finding mission to Europe in 2011, and subsequently cooperated with Taipei-based National Taiwan University and the Taiwan International Institute for Water Education in creating a treatment facility to turn the waste into useful resources.

Located next to the Dongluo River, the processing plant separates the pig slurry into solid, liquid and gaseous components.

After treatment, the solid waste becomes organic fertiliser for use on farms, the biogas is stored for electricity generation to power the plant and nearby public facilities, and the liquid is filtered and purified to produce water pure enough for use in irrigation or cleaning.