Poultry excrement could partially replace coal as a renewable energy source, study says

November 20, 2017, American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

While turkeys at Thanksgiving are an age-old custom, a new study shows that turkey excrement may have a future as a fuel for heat and electricity.

Treated excrement from turkeys, chickens and other , when converted to combustible solid biomass fuel, could replace approximately 10 percent of coal used in , reducing greenhouse gases and providing an , according to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers.

While biomass accounts for 73 percent of worldwide, crops grown for energy production burden land, water and fertilizer resources. According to the researchers, "Environmentally safe disposal of poultry excrement has become a significant problem. Converting poultry waste to solid fuel, a less resource-intensive, is an environmentally superior alternative that also reduces reliance on fossil fuels."

According to the study in Elsevier's Applied Energy, researchers at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at BGU evaluated two biofuel types to determine which is the more efficient poultry waste solid fuel.

They compared the production, combustion and of biochar, which is produced by slow heating of the biomass at a temperature of 450°C (842°F) in an oxygen-free furnace with hydrochar. Hydrochar is produced by heating wet biomass to a much lower temperature of up to 250 °C under pressure using a process called hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). HTC is mimics natural coal formation within several hours.

"We found that poultry waste processed as hydrochar produced 24 percent higher net energy generation," says student researcher Vivian Mau and Prof. Amit Gross, chair of the Department of Environmental Hydrology and Microbiology at BGU's Zuckerberg Institute. "Poultry waste hydrochar generates heat at high temperatures and combusts in a similar manner to coal, an important factor in replacing it as renewable energy source."

For the first time, the researchers also showed that higher HTC production temperatures resulted in a significant reduction in emissions of methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) and an increase of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

"This investigation helped in bridging the gap between hydrochar being considered as a potential source toward the development of an alternative renewable fuel," Gross explains. "Our findings could help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation and agricultural wastes. Field-scale experiments with HTC reactor should be conducted to confirm the assessments from this laboratory-scale study."

Explore further: Renewable coal on the horizon

More information: Vivian Mau et al, Energy conversion and gas emissions from production and combustion of poultry-litter-derived hydrochar and biochar, Applied Energy (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.11.033

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Steve_S2
5 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2017
Factor in the cost of converting the "fresh" to Char and what energy source will heat that ?
Biogas might be more cost effective and we know that works...
Conversion to Fertilizers to replace Petro/Gas Feedstock based fertilizers may actually be the best win for Poultry Poo & Humanity.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2017
Steve, the high nitrogen and low pH and fines in bird manure make it hard to work in digesters.

I included anaerobic digesters in a power system for an ethanol plant but used that from dairy cattle, probably the best manure source we have.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Dec 01, 2017
Steve, the high nitrogen and low pH and fines in bird manure make it hard to work in digesters.

I included anaerobic digesters in a power system for an ethanol plant but used that from dairy cattle, probably the best manure source we have.
George kamburoff the lying cheating psychopath is talking about his popsci article/thesis he submitted with a fat check to get his honorary MS in Nothing in Particular.

No coursework, no supervision, no exams, no bachelor of anything. Just steaming heaps of cow dung.

We know this because George forwarded it to one of the posters here (along with his SSN) because he thought goobers couldn't tell the difference.

George has also revealed that it included little engg (because he isn't one) and no govt codes or regs (because he had no idea what CFR was until we told him.)

A few short factoids from a long sad story.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2017
MODERATOR:

Why do you allow off-topic personal smears?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Dec 01, 2017
GEORGE:

Why do you act so surprised when the people here expose your lies? Do you really think you have the right to LIE unopposed?

Haven't you learned over all these months that we're not going to let you get away with it?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Dec 01, 2017
The people here by and large are smarter than you. They were able to do the work to get the education and experience you dont have. And they know when a bullshitter like yourself is pretending to have them.

You ought to try and accept that.

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