Bio-Burner 500 on Riverhill Farm, Rockingham County, Virginia

The Technology

The Bio-Burner 500 by LEI Products was installed in 2015 on Riverhill Farm in Rockingham County, VA, as a demonstration project for the Farm Manure-to-Energy Initiative. The Bio-Burner 500 is a combustion system that uses poultry litter as a fuel.

Hot water from the Bio-Burner delivers heat to a turkey poult house via a radiant floor heating system that is used to supplement heat from a traditional propane heating system.

The 2015 installation modified an existing system, previously fueled by woodchips, to accept poultry litter. These modifications included the addition of a wet scrubber to control particulate matter emissions, as well as modifications to the fuel and ash handling systems.

The Farm

Glenn Rodes grows turkeys for Cargill, raising chicks in a 50’x 624’ brooder house before they are moved into one of four grow-out houses. Each year, the farm produces 240,000 birds, 8 flocks, and 1,560 tons of litter. In 2016, Glenn and Sheri Rhodes, owners of Riverhill Farm, were selected as winners of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Farm Family Environmental Award for the Northeast Region of the United States.

Performance Evaluation

An overview of the project is available in the main body of the 2016 Final Report. Details are in Appendix C. Although long-term technical performance of this unit using poultry litter as a fuel is currently not available, the report includes an evaluation of air emissions from this and other systems.

Related: Introduction to Thermal Technologies…

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Farm Manure Energy Initiative logoThis case study was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the USDA, U.S. EPA, and Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. The views and conclusions contained in materials related to the Farm Manure-to-Energy Initiative are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of NFWF, the USDA, U.S. EPA, or Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement by project funders.