Turkey dung to be used as fuel
Under construction in Benson, Minnesota (US) is an energy-producing plant that will burn turkey “litter”–a mix of dung and the wood chips used as bedding material for the birds.
The plant could create enough electricity to power 60,000 homes in Benson
. The soon-to-be opened 55-megawatt power plant, the first large-scale facility of its kind in the United States, will use about 2,200 tons of litter per day collected from around the area, a community filled with turkey growers.
Burning turkey waste doesn’t cause any more pollution than the litter would have created had it been left to naturally decompose (break down chemically), says Carl Strickler, chief operating officer of Fibrominn, the company building Benson’s plant
. Even better, its only by-product is ash, which farmers can use as fertilizer.
“There is an opportunity for our technology to help balance the environment, [reduce] land application of poultry manure, and produce renewable energy using local resources,” says Rupert Fraser, chief executive officer of Homeland Renewable Energy
, Fibrominn’s parent company.
Fibrominn already operates three similar facilities in the United Kingdom. The plants have combusted more than 5.7 million tons of poultry litter and other biomass, which generated over 3.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity, and produced 470,000 tons of ash fertilizer.