Members Tour Farms Using Latest Pollution Control Technology

In March 2017, Delmarva Land and Litter Challenge (DLLC) members toured three Delmarva facilities utilizing innovative, alternative poultry litter management technologies. Participants toured Double Trouble Farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, as well as the Perdue Agricycle and Agrisoil facilities in Delaware.

Members toured the Biomass Heating Solutions Limited (BHSL) manure-to-energy technology at Double Trouble poultry farm, seeing first hand what DelmarvaNow recently called “the most cutting-edge poultry operation on the Eastern Shore.” The Maryland Department of Agriculture and BHSL gave $3 million towards the technology to help reduce the environmental impact of chickens on this farm. Bob Murphy, owner of the farm, has more than 160,000 chickens that can produce up to 10 tons of poultry litter a day. This poultry litter is fed into a fluidized bed combustion system designed to capture heat water that is used to warm the chicken houses. This provides an alternative to local land application of poultry litter and concentrates poultry litter phosphorus that could otherwise contribute to algal blooms that stifle out other plants in the bay. The technology significantly reduces the impacts of the chickens, and could be used at nearby farms as well. You can read more about thermal manure-to-energy technologies on a website developed to share information about the performance of these technologies.

Bob Murphy and DLLC member Bob Monley at Murphy Farms

From Murphy’s farm, DLLC members then toured the Perdue AgriRecycle facility in Sussex County, Delaware. Here, Perdue processes poultry litter into 80,000 tons of pelleted and granular fertilizer per year. This is the first large-scale pellet operation located in the heart of poultry production on the Delmarva. Perdue invested $13 million to develop this facility, which provides poultry growers with an alternative to local land application of poultry litter. At the AgriRecycle facility, poultry litter is heated, dried into a powder, and then formed into pellets.  A negative-air system prevents dust and odor from escaping, and scrubbers clean the air before it leaves the facility.

Members touring the Purdue AgriSoil facility

Finally, DLLC members toured Perdue’s AgriSoil facility next door. At this facility, poultry litter processing organic waste is composted and used to produce valuable soil amendments. These residual organic materials are mixed and composted for 60 to 70 days, resulting in a finished compost with a high level of organic matter that can be sold to distributors of consumer lawn-and-garden products. WATTAgNet reported that Perdue spent $12 million on capital for this project which effectively recycles poultry waste residuals into valuable products.