Effect of Fractionation and Pyrolysis on Fuel Properties of Poultry Litter

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Raw poultry litter has certain drawbacks for energy production such as high ash and moisture content, a corrosive nature, and low heating values. A combined solution to utilization of raw poultry litter may involve fractionation and pyrolysis. Fractionation divides poultry litter into a fine, nutrient-rich fraction and a coarse, carbon dense fraction. Pyrolysis of the coarse fraction would remove the corrosive volatiles as bio-oil, leaving clean char. This paper presents the effect of fractionation and pyrolysis process parameters on the calorific value of char and on the characterization of bio-oil. Poultry litter samples collected from three commercial poultry farms were divided into 10 treatments that included 2 controls (raw poultry litter and its coarse fraction having particle size greater than 0.85 mm) and 8 other treatments that were combinations of three factors: type (raw poultry litter or its coarse fraction), heating rate (30 or 10 °C/min), and pyrolysis temperature (300 or 500°C). After the screening process, the poultry litter samples were dried and pyrolyzed in a batch reactor under nitrogen atmosphere and char and condensate yields were recorded. The condensate was separated into three fractions on the basis of their density: heavy, medium, and light phase. Calorific value and proximate and nutrient analysis were performed for char, condensate, and feedstock. Results show that the char with the highest calorific value (17.39MJ/kg) was made from the coarse fraction at 300°C, which captured 68.71% of the feedstock energy. The char produced at 300°C had 42mg/kg arsenic content but no mercury. Almost all of the Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Na, and P remained in the char. The pyrolysis process reduced ammoniacal-nitrogen (NH4-N) in char by 99.14% and nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) by 95.79% at 500°C.


Kaushlendra Singh, West Virginia University        Kaushlendra.Singh@mail.wvu.edu

L. Mark Risse*, K.C. Das, John Worley, and Sidney Thompson, University of Georgia


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