Policymakers in Brussels have reached a unanimous agreement to allow poultry litter to be used as a fuel in on-farm biomass boilers.

By reclassifying poultry manure as an animal by-product, it may soon be combusted on farms according to EU regulation.

Irish company BHSL has already supplied turnkey systems to two large broiler units in the UK, which have been in operation for more than three years, with high levels of performance.

For the full story on litter burning, check out the March issue of Poultry World

It says it can satisfy the new EU-wide regulations using its dedicated fluidised bed combustion technology. In the UK it is also accredited for support under the Renewable Heat Incentive.

One of the two plants is based at Nigel and Patrick Joice’s Uphouse Farm in Norfolk.

“The abundant low-cost fuel allows us the flexibility to manage heat and air quality to great effect,” they say. “Warmer and drier conditions have enhanced bird welfare, which has been reflected in much better food conversion ratios and lower levels of hockburn and pododermititis”.

The reduced ammonia production from not using LPG also makes the external environment better and compliance with environmental permits simpler.

According to the Joices, the all-in-one on-site energy generation plant is providing an attractive payback, despite the higher initial capital investment, equivalent to conventional biomass without the sustainability issues of using virgin biomass.