MIPS funds 5 poultry manure-to-energy projects

By Erin Voegele | September 16, 2014

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program has approved research projects worth $4.7 million to 18 teams, including five projects worth $1.9 million that aim to convert poultry manure into energy. The program is an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. For this round of funding, companies are contributing $2.4 million to the jointly funded projects and MIPS is contributing $2.3.

The poultry manure projects include those related to anaerobic digestion, gasification, combustion and washing. According to MIPS, the projects are investigating various processes for converting poultry manure into energy while keeping the nitrogen and phosphorous in poultry litter from polluting the Chesapeake Bay. Each project would potentially produce electricity and heat. Information released by MIPS indicates some would also create additional saleable products, such as fertilizer, soil amendments or algae feedstock.

Poultry manure projects that are being funded include:

 University of Maryland, Baltimore County, $629,500: Lee Blaney, assistant professor, department of chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, works with Triea Systems LLC to accelerate the development and commercialization of the company's Quick Wash process, which physically removes and recovers phosphorus from animal manure, reducing phosphorus loading into the Chesapeake Bay and creating three high-value by-products.

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, $334,999: Feng Chen, associate professor, Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, works with  HY-TEK Bio LLC to evaluate two poultry manure-to-energy processes, as well as each system's efficacy when combined with the company's algae-based system for removing greenhouse gas from emissions created when burning fossil fuels.

University of Maryland, College Park, $308,995: Stephanie Lansing, assistant professor, department of environmental science and technology, works with The Crimson Group LLC to develop a system that gasifies poultry litter waste into energy.

University of Maryland, College Park, $284,913: Stephanie Lansing, assistant professor, department of environmental science and technology, partners with Planet Found Energy Development LLC to develop a poultry manure-to-energy system that combines anaerobic digestion and a nutrient capture system to produce renewable energy and recover nitrogen from the poultry litter in the form of salable fertilizer.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore, $424,692: Jennifer Timmons, associate professor, department of agriculture, food, and resource sciences, teams with AHPharma Energy Systems Inc. to develop a manure-to-energy, closed-loop geothermal heating system for poultry houses.