Poultry droppings could be next alternative fuel — Study

Poultry farm used to illustrate the story.
Poultry farm used to illustrate the story.

Israeli researchers have found that droppings from turkeys, chickens and other poultry could be a viable alternative to coal as energy source.

According to a study by researchers from Ben-Gurion University, poultry excreta can be turned into combustible biomass that can replace 10 per cent of coal used for electricity production.

The author of the study, Amit Gross, told journalists on Wednesday in Tel Aviv that “you get more energy than you invest, making this a possible alternative to fossil fuels.”

Mr. Gross, who is Chair of the Department of Environmental Hydrology and Microbiology at Ben Gurion University, says the droppings is heated up to 250 degrees celsius in a process called hydrothermal carbonisation.

He says the result is solid fuel similar to coal called hydrochar.

Mr. Gross’ study estimated that if the entire world’s available poultry faeces were converted to hydrochar, it could replace 10 per cent of coal used for electricity generation.

According to 2014 statistics from Israel’s Agriculture Ministry, the alternative fuel source may work well for Israelis who are leading the world in per capita consumption of turkey.


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