By Montana Grant

Posted: December 23, 2018

Chicken farmers are full of Chicken Sh–! The process of raising chickens and turkeys creates a huge amount of waste. This manure is a disaster for watersheds. In areas along the Chesapeake Bay, in the east, farmers dump tons of chicken manure onto their fields to get rid of it. Much of the waste nutrient ends up in the water.

New research has come up with a way to turn chicken crap into gold! This toxic waste product is now being baked to form Biochar! The litter from the floors of chicken houses is being baked at 1300 degrees. The result is a black powdery substance that serves many positive purposes.

Biochar sponges up nutrients from storm water waste, improves soil health, and reduces greenhouse emissions. Chicken waste was selling for $20 a ton. Once baked, it is now worth $2000 a ton. Raw chicken manure contains 2-3 % phosphorus. After being baked, that climbs to 15% putting it on par with other commercial fertilizers.

The Biochar also grabs onto the nitrates in the soil keeping them from flushing into the watersheds. It is possible to create Bioreactors along edges where drainage and runoff are a problem. 90% of nitrates and 60% of phosphorus can be naturally collected before running into watersheds. These barriers also act as filters and hold water longer.

Biochar is also found after a forest fire. Burning grasses and forests can create healthier environments over a long period of time. Wood waste is another way to create Biochar. Sawmills, lumber yards, farm crop waste, and reclaimed wood from forest fires can be heated in kilns. These waste products can also be used in power generation. The Biochar produced can become a better, natural fertilizer.

Air pollution and smell are minimal in a kiln gasifier that makes Biochar. The waste is not incinerated but baked in a low oxygen setting that triggers a process called pyrolysis. With more research, new and better applications are on the horizon.

Chicken farmers will soon be Flush with profits from what was their waste.

Montana Grant

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