Turning Chicken Litter Into Environmental Treasure

Compiled By Deborah Austin Others might perceive 82,000 tons of chicken litter as trash -- but Tyson Foods, Inc. sees potential industrial and environmental treasure. The $7.2 billion Tyson -- along with Australia-based waste-to-energy technology firm Renewable Energy Corp. -- plans a $12 million gasification facility in Temperanceville, Va., to convert such litter into steam. The steam will aid processing at Tyson's nearby protein conversion plant, which makes chicken byproducts into animal feed ingredients. The new facility also will convert sludge from area Tyson wastewater treatment plants, and waste from hatcheries. The facility's planned production capacity is 120,000 pounds of steam per hour. Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods says that the gasification technology will reduce sulfur emissions from current conventional boilers. Additionally, the facility should reduce regional chicken-litter land application by 82,000 tons yearly and DAF (dissolved air flotation) sludge by 30,000 tons, the company claims.

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