How can Poultry be used to help contribute towards Net-Zero?
The 19th of March is National Poultry Day 2022! Unsurprisingly, Chicken, Turkey and Duck feature in the top ten most widely consumed meats on the planet, the production of which unfortunately contributes to the increasingly complex issue of climate change.
So this Poultry Day, what can be done to make sure the poultry industry doesn’t fall foul of the mark in the push to reduce our carbon footprint? Could there be further value in your poultry?
Poultry litter could potentially have more value than you think.
As an animal source biomass material, revenue is generated by recycling the litter as a fuel, either by direct combustion or via anaerobic digestion to produce biogas.
These technologies will attract subsidies and in addition can replace the use of fossil fuels, contributing toward Net-Zero. Excess electricity generated beyond your own consumption can also be transported back to the grid.
Spreading the material to land has fertiliser benefits. Poultry manure contains useful nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. If you’re operating a biomass CHP system, the ash generated is also renewable, albeit, most of the nitrogen will have been lost during combustion.
There are of course regulations and permitting guidelines for compliance, however the benefits available from this end-of-life by-product make it more than just a cost-saving exercise.
Meat and Bone Meal
The UK produces around 350,000 tonnes of meat and bone meal (MBM) each year, and in Europe, it has proven to be a sustainably developed way of farming.
MBM has a significant calorific value and therefore is a useful material for firing or co-firing for energy production, which is why it is being used increasingly by biomass power stations and in cement production as a source of alternative fuel and renewable energy.
Even after combustion, with testing and environmental permissions, residues of ash may still be utilised as a fertiliser, maintaining useful levels of calcium and phosphorus, providing further value in the material.
There is a word of caution here however, as the material inherently contains high levels of nitrogen and chlorine, which is notoriously a corrosion and slagging promoter.
In addition, nitrogen is invariably lost from the ash and chlorine may also be concentrated and yield it unsuitable, or have limited use in some agricultural applications, so it is important to monitor these levels.
Poultry Day 2022 – Supporting a Circular Economy
Poultry clearly offers more than first meets the eye in the number of alternative uses that it provides. Recycling and reuse of the material in some way ensures that every part of the animal biomass is put to use, consistent with a circular economy. This type of biomass production and consumption offers a credible route to continue to meet its renewable energy targets in the future.
If you work with or use poultry as a biomass material and would like to discuss the potential benefits of utilising your product further, get in touch with an AHK expert today using this link.