Turkey Manure processing

The gasification system was installed in 2009 and was initially running to eliminate turkey litter/manure and produce biochar. The system was running as designed with turkey litter as the fuel. A heat exchanger and hot oil system were installed to provide heat to the turkey houses together with a complete feed and ash removal system.

The heat exchanger replaces the conventional method of using propane heaters to maintain the required temperatures in the houses with an easily measurable reduction in cost of propane as result. Also there was an improvement in animal health and growth due to the superior environment supplied by the clean air from the gasification system.

Next to this the energy production and byproducts as viable sources of income were evaluated. There are various revenue streams or cost avoidance components to be quantified, including:

  • A higher level of nitrogen retained in the litter when zeolite was added to the feed
  • Manure handling costs
  • Value of manure versus value of dried product as a fertilizer versus value of biochar/ash product after gasification.
  • Cost and risk associated with mortality disposal versus including them in feed of gasifier.
  • Cost avoidance of propane heat of turkey houses by replacement heat from the gasifier.
  • Improved bird health, growth, and feed rate by improved environment due to clean dryer air from gasifier versus higher moisture irregular temperatures by propane heaters.
  • Value of power generated – kWhrs produced and price.
  • Amount of labor involved in operating system versus operating the houses with the current method.
  • Value of carbon credits and potential value of biochar.
  • Evaluation of different potential operating scenarios – use of corn stover and wood waste as fuel, value of manure as ash or as dried fertilizer, etc.

It is thought that the most beneficial economic value for the project will be from the sale of the pathogen-free biochar ash.