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Horse Manure


Horse manure, unprocessed and compressed into pellets.

Horse Power!

Horse manure contains great amounts of energy, which can be compressed into pellets or briquettes. One horse’s daily amount of manure, together with the bedding material, has 30 kWh energy, which equals three litres of fuel oil.

Challenges of Utilisation

It has been made practically impossible by legislation to utilise horse manure in Finland. The waste incineration directive of EU is interpreted in Finland thus, that horse manure is waste, which can be legally processed into pellets and briquettes. In practice, horse farmers cannot utilise the manure. Waste incineration requires a special plant with gauges and continuous measuring.

Because of the legislation, which has placed impassable challenges for the utilisation of horse manure, a whole bioenergy source is thrown into compost. In the worst case, a horse farmer has to pay to get rid of this energy raw material. Horse manure is legally utilised in Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Germany.

Wide-Ranging Possibilities

There are by a rough estimation 70 000 horses in Finland. It would take the manure of about 4–5 horses to heat up one detached house around the year.

There are municipalities and neighbourhoods in Finland, such as Orimattila and Ypäjä, who could be energy self-sufficient with horse manure. According to a survey done in Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, Southern Savonia produces enough horse manure to heat up 700 detached houses.

In 2007, 486 000 tonnes of horse manure was produced, and 46 % of it stayed in the manure yard. With the bedding material, this means 497 000 cubic metres. The annual energy outcome was thus 2 700 TJ/a. It equals approximately 65 000 tonnes of fuel oil.

The consumption of fossil fuels in Finland in 2007 was 16 700 000 tonnes measured in fuel oil. The energy content of horse manure is thus 0,4 % of the energy of total fossil energy import. According to some sources, the horse manure production is substantially greater, approximately 800 000 tonnes per year.

This small herd of horses produces a daily amount of manure, which in energy equals nine litres of fuel oil.

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