Chandala Poultry – Power from poultry waste

We are working with a Chandala Poultry from Gingin, Western Australia and designing a system that will recover the energy from the chicken litter (manure and bedding) that the farm produces and use it to meet the farms onsite requirements.

Currently the waste is being transported to farms where it is used as a fertiliser. The farm produces approx. 1.7 million birds for the poultry meat industry per year. Four sheds are run in rotation and every 6.4 weeks the sheds are emptied producing approx. 3000 tonnes of chicken litter p.a.


Process

After a farm visit, a high level assessment and discussions with Chandala Poultry, it was decided to adopt thermal conversion (pyrolysis) to process the waste stream.

Pyrolysis will heat the organic material at around 400-500 degree C releasing gases locked up in the litter. The gas will be burnt to produce heat and Organic Rankin Cycle turbines will then recover the heat to produce electricity. Low grade heat from the process can be used for heating and cooling the chicken sheds.

Biochar

A bi-product of the process is biochar. Biochar a stable form of carbon and depending on the conversion temperature can retain nutrients and be used as a soil conditioner/fertiliser. There is also work being done in Australia under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) and internationally on using biochar to sequester carbon as well as using biochar to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

Test work needs to be carried out on the biochar to define the nutrient content, potential markets include being blended with compost and used as fertiliser or bagged and sold into the lucrative retail market as a soil conditioner.

Test work

Poultry litter is composed of cellulosic bedding materials such as wood shavings along with chicken manure and feed. Energy Farmers have engaged the services of Chem Centre in Bentley, Western Australia to ascertain the properties of the litter. Energy Farmers will test the chicken litter through a pyrolysis kiln for energy output and biochar yield. The biochar will be tested for nutrient quality.

Business model

Our business model involves Energy Farmers partnering with the poultry farmer to form a company and build the bioenergy asset in a 50/50 split. The asset will agree to buy chicken litter off the farmer  and the farmer agrees to buy any energy produced from the station. Long term power purchase and supply agreements will be established before the final investment decision.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) has been signed which establishes the commitment of, and agreement to develop a bioenergy plant to be located in Gingin, Western Australia.

Carbon farming opportunities

Currently the litter is being stored on farm, then transported to a farm and spread on paddocks as a fertiliser. This process may be creating carbon emissions so we will look at the carbon farming opportunities in using the waste onsite to produce renewable energy.

There are currently no methodologies developed under the CFI for the poultry industry. Energy Farmers looking at the funding options under the CFI’s Action on the Ground to establish baselines of the current practice and to determine if there will be any emission reductions by adopting this process.

This project may also be eligible for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Eligible energy sources are entitled to create certificates based on the amount of electricity they produce or displace. These certificates can be created in the REC Registry and sold to buyers.  RECs are currently trading around $30/MWh

NB: Considering the uncertainty of the carbon market, no benefits of a carbon price or RECs are factored into the business model.

There is a lot more work to do on this project however we are confident that using an on farm waste stream to meet on site energy requirements is a feasible option. Contact us to learn more.

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