Letter to the Editor

Senior Staff Writer Ron Kotrba's story in the July issue of Biomass Magazine talked about technology that allows for the use of turkey litter [as a power source], and provides a seemingly win-win situation for a disposal issue that has become a major environmental headache due to nitrogen loading and clean water issues.

I have been involved in alternative energy-particularly biodiesel-for the past four years, and the one thing I have learned is that there are no silver bullets, just "least-worst" solutions. Just look at the sustainability issue surrounding the use of palm oil in biodiesel production.

Perhaps you could do a little research into the apparent air pollution concerns associated with incinerating poultry litter-in particular, emissions of arsenic, as well as the presence of heavy metals in the ash, which is turned into fertilizer. Check out www.energyjustice.net/fibrowatch/toxics.html for a start. There are trade-offs, and it is important to understand what the full range of issues is.

Chad Freckmann
Blue Ridge Clean Fuels