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EPA Awards UGA Grant to Study Alternative Uses for Poultry Litter

Release Date: 08/10/2006
Contact Information: Benjamin N. Haynes, (404) 562-8027, haynes.benjamin@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – August 10, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded the University of Georgia Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (UGA) a $58,000 grant to research innovative uses of poultry litter to benefit energy, fuel, and environmental and economic demands.

    Georgia currently ranks first in the nation in the production of poultry and poultry litter, and disposing of the litter is a growing environmental concern. Most poultry litter is beneficially used as fertilizer for crops; however, applying too much litter to farmland can result in impaired soil and water quality. UGA researchers are seeking useful applications for this excess poultry litter.

    One of the exciting potential uses for poultry litter is energy production. This research project is being undertaken to study alternative uses of poultry litter to produce fertilizer pellets, bio-oils for energy, or char to be used as fuel or a fertilizer. If implemented, these approaches can provide cost-effective solutions for waste reduction, protection of water quality, and healthier outdoor air.

    EPA is joined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Georgia in funding the development and implementation of this approach.

    “EPA is pleased to join this collaborative effort to address a major environmental concern as well as support a vital economic sector in the Southeast and Georgia,” said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator. “I am very excited about the potential environmental benefits brought on by the innovative development of this source of energy.”

    “I am very excited about this opportunity to research and apply new technologies that will benefit poultry producers and the citizens of Georgia,” said Dr. Mark Risse, one of the primary researchers for the project. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the EPA to develop value added processes to utilize the by-products of our poultry industry while improving, soil, water and air resources.”

    Risse will join Kaushlendra Singh and Doctors Sidney Thompson, K.C. Das and John Worley in this research project to develop an economical and energy efficient process to convert raw poultry litter into a richer source of nutrients and energy using innovative techniques.