Professor puts chicken waste to work

ALABAMA - Billions of chickens have been scratching around barnyards in Alabama for years without much thought of using their "residue" to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Poultry litter may not be the most appetizing subject, but it does have its possibilities. Ditto for peanut hulls and skin, switch grass, alfalfa and other agricultural byproducts that usually are destroyed.

In recent years, scientists such as Auburn University's Oladiran Fasina have been spending a lot of their time looking for ways to utilize certain agricultural waste as energy sources.

"We don't have much of an option," said Fasina, a native of Nigeria who spent a few years in Canada before moving to Auburn four years ago. "Can we use waste? I know we can because we already have."

Fasina, 41, has been experimenting with chicken litter, peanuts and switchgrass to see how much energy they can provide. He and others associated with the project have been delighted.

It's been a year since Fasina began using a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Affairs to use agricultural byproducts to heat a greenhouse on campus.

calendar icon 29 November 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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