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Poultry litter generates heat

by 5m Editor
23 October 2006, at 10:22am

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.

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

5m Editor