Poultry litter generates heat

US - There's more than just good chemistry between Oren Heatwole Jr. and the millions of chickens and turkeys that populate the Valley. There's real heat.
calendar icon 23 October 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

Oil lines compete with electrical conduit for wall space in Heatwole's new, high-ceiling workshop. In three months, a diesel-like oil will flow from a poultry litter-fired reactor into the heating furnace he's installed outside.

On a recent tour of the work-in-progress, Heatwole made it sound simple. "We're just hoping to bring value back to the litter, rather than a liability," he said.

Poultry litter is well known to area farmers (and their neighbors) as a rich, concentrated fertilizer. But it's become too much of a good thing, said regional Extension Agent Eric Benfeldt on Wednesday.

"For decades we've thought soil was a soak; able to absorb an infinite amount of nutrients," he said. "That's not the case. It's ending up in streams and groundwater at concentrations that are unhealthy."

Source: News Leader

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