A third poultry litter-fueled boiler, commissioned for Prestage Farm’s turkey operations in Clinton, N.C., marks the first poultry-litter-fueled boiler in the United States, says its manufacturer.

 Litter has posed a challenge for many boiler systems due to its high ash content and ash characteristics. “While we have been carefully evaluating the potential to use litter in our boilers in the U.S. market, one of our solid fuel boilers in Guatemala began running almost 3 years ago on 100 percent litter simply because it was the most cost effective and reliable fuel. Since then, two more systems have been installed and are providing steam to poultry facilities using only chicken litter,” said Tommy Hurst of Hurst Boiler Inc., Coolidge, Ga., which manufactured the boiler

Because litter is significantly different than other biomass fuels, using poultry litters in boilers designed for biomass has led to problems in the past, says the Hurst team. To mitigate the challenges associated with using this type of fuel, Hurst Boiler strategically considered each aspect of the process – from the way litter arrives at Prestage Farm’s facility and the material-handling (fuel-receiving) equipment through the way in which emissions are treated.