Poultry litter valorization to energy

P. De Filippis, M. Scarsella, N. Verdone, M. Zeppieri
2008 Waste Management and the Environment IV   unpublished
Historically manure has found utilization as fertilizer in agriculture because it contributes to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. However, the current European Directive 91/676 drastically reduces the application of this material as fertilizer due to its high nitrate content. Therefore, identification of alternative eco-friendly disposal routes with potential financial benefits has become necessary, and the energetic
more » ... lorization of these biomasses is particularly promising. Poultry litter represents one of the more challenging bio-fuel feedstocks for energy generation, being easy to handle and showing a composition that potentially assures a high energy content and the production of a byproduct (ash) with good fertilizing properties. In this paper an evaluation of the technical and economic feasibility of the energy conversion technologies usable to recover both the potential energy and fertilizer properties of poultry litter was provided. The focus was posed on the poultry farms of North-East Italy, where more than half of the national poultry production is concentrated. The preliminary cost analysis suggests that energy production from poultry litter is actually economically viable in the case of large off-site plants only by means of anaerobic digestion, while in the case of small plants operating in situ the gasification process appears the most convenient option. Poultry facilities produce litter that is composed primarily of manure, bedding material (wood shavings, saw dust, paper etc.) and feed. Numerous factors determine the quality and composition of the litter, including the bedding material used, the number and type of poultry, the number of flocks per year, and the sources of moisture, other than the overall litter management approach. However, whatever the litter composition, with the exception of ash and water, the other constituents are all potential energetic materials and poultry litter can be directly used for power generation. Moreover, no fuel preparation is required for poultry litter, except possibly some breaking up of clumps. www.witpress.com, ISSN 1743-3541 (on-line)
doi:10.2495/wm080281 fatcat:ng3um67th5hq3oalztuwhfbxnm