The first UK approval for use of unprocessed poultry manure as a fuel in combustion will take effect at Uphouse Farm, Norfolk as the implementation rules 142/2011 came into law under EU regulation 1069/2009 from July 15th 2014.
BHSL, an entrepreneurial Agri-Tech company who collaborated with Uphouse Farm and a number of institutions including DEFRA, the environment agency, AHVLA, has the only approved system permitted for use under the new rules. The bhsl FBC system was used to test and verify the implementing rules for the complete manure combustion process – this included manure handling, storage, combustion, emissions management and ash management. The process is patented across 28 EU Member states.
BHSL is now on target to deliver commercial solutions for poultry growers. "Our system has been put through a rigorous regulatory and technical proving process and we are now ready to deliver solutions on farms across the UK and the EU to allow farmers to run more sustainable and profitable businesses," said Sean Fitzpatrick, commercial director.
Meeting Defra farming minister George Eustice on the day the new regulations came into force, Declan O'Connor, chief executive of BHSL said the time had come for farmers to stop thinking of chicken manure as waste and start thinking of it as fuel.
The arguments in its favour were "economically compelling", he told the minister, as well as sustainable. But there was still an issue with getting the resultant ash reclassified, so it too could be used on farm without having to go through expensive waste controls.
"Ash is still in a waste 'cubbyhole' and we need to get it out," said Norfolk broiler producer and NFU member Nigel Joice, who has the first litter burning operation up and running. He explained that it was costing him £700 a go to get a deployment licence to spread the ash on up to 50ha of arable land.
One way of addressing the problem would be via a review of the fertiliser regulations, currently under way in Brussels. But that would take another two years and both the NFU and BHSL urged Eustice to press for a faster solution.