Finding A Use for Poultry Litter

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY - A pilot project in Rockingham County is the first in the country to try to turn poultry litter into a bio-oil.
calendar icon 7 September 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Under a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Tech is partnering with a local farm for this project. The disposal of poultry litter is becoming a problem, by contaminating drinking water and putting an excessive amount of nutrients into the waterways.

Re-using the litter would not only be environmentally friendly because if might save farmers some money.

Farmers like Oren Heatwole are going to put their poultry litter through a heating process, which will turn the waste and wood chips into a slow-release fertilizer and bio-oil.

"The litter is one of the main things that come from a farm, and in the past, it's been a liability. Well we want to turn that into a commodity, so it's something they can benefit from, instead of worrying about getting rid of it, making people want it," says Heatwole.

Besides being a way to help clean up the environment, this process may help farmers with other operations on their farm.

Dr. Foster Agblevor, an associate professor in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, says, "The bio-oil can be sold at relatively lower price, which they can use to heat a poultry house and I think that's the biggest plus."

Source: WHSV3
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