Chicken Manure processing

This demonstration project started in 2007 and has shown that chicken litter can successfully be gasified to provide a bio-based heating system. The project compared, side-by-side, a typically-heated poultry house and a poultry house heated with hot air out of a gasifier with an air-to-air heat exchanger. The focus of the project was to prove the feasibility and economic viability of a bio-based fuel-to-energy system utilizing poultry litter as the fuel and a fixed-bed gasifier as the medium to convert the material to energy.

The fuel feed is completely automated and the system changes as fuel quality and energy needs change. The system has been operated utilizing both local controls as well as with monitoring from Indiana and Canada through the remote web-based access system.

The operation of the gasifier has a definite positive impact on the bird growth and health. The humidity level in the house is lower – over 20% less, and the bird’s growth was as much as 7% higher. The propane use is obviously lower as the gasifier is providing the energy for replacement heat.The owner installed a litter shed to improve the quality of both the fuel feed and the resulting biochar.

Also a variety of unexpected benefits have been discovered: the ash as a fertilizer supplement has substantial value and it may also be beneficial as a feed supplement to replace dicalcium phosphate. And the use of the gasifier reduces the work load to maintain the house and could have a significant impact on the operating costs when incorporated in the design of a new facility.