Greentech Lead America: The Energy & Environmental
Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, in partnership with
DenYon Energy, is developing an integrated power and waste management system
for the poultry industry.
Both EERC and DenYon are performing in an advanced
fixed-bed gasifier (AFBG) to convert poultry waste to energy and other
value-added products. The proprietary technology has been licensed by the EERC
Foundation to DenYon Energy for commercialization in the poultry industry.
Poultry litter is a complex combustible mixture. The
EERC’s AFBG system is capable of converting the litter into a clean and
combustible mixture of gases, commonly known as synthetic gas, or syngas. The
syngas can be used as a direct fuel for electricity and heat production.
The company estimates that a poultry farm generating 3000
tons a year of waste could produce about 280 kilowatts of electricity using an
engine generator, enough to supply about 150 homes with their average annual
“We are trying to achieve a complete solution for
the poultry industry with this distributed energy technology,” said Nikhil
Patel, research scientist, project manager, and inventor of the technology.
“A distributed-scale energy and by-product recovery process is an emerging
need in the poultry industry.”
According to Patel, the project can lead to environmental
and economic sustainability by helping a major food processing industry
eliminate waste and become more energy self-reliant. “In essence, poultry farms
around the globe could use their own waste to supply lower-cost energy to their
operations and reduce disposal challenges.”
The EERC will run several weeks of pilot-scale tests to
determine the efficiency and performance of the system using poultry litter and
other waste materials as fuel. The testing will determine what challenges need
to be overcome to bring the waste-to-energy technology to the commercial marketplace.
The gasification process can also recover
by-products that may have unique applications within existing markets, opening
up a new avenue to convert a potential disposal liability into an opportunity
feedstock for all sizes of poultry farms.
“One of the main strategic initiatives at the EERC
is distributed generation projects like this one that provide practical,
environmentally sound solutions for our client’s site-specific needs,”
said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold.
EERC uses coffee to brew up energy
Recently EERC announced it is working with Wynntryst, an
energy solutions company, to develop a renewable electricity technology for
The project aims to develop a gasification power system to utilize the waste
from a coffee-processing plant to produce energy.