bio-oil. Some folks at Virginia Tech have been looking into ways of using America's millions of tons of chicken...litter. An aromatic mixture I can tell you from my childhood on a farm: feathers, manure, rotting chicken food. Well, now there's research showing how to make this stuff useful.
Processed under heat the "litter" can become "three value-added byproducts – pyrodiesel (bio-oil), producer gas, and fertilizer. The pyrolysis unit heats the litter until it vaporizes. The vapor is then condensed to produce the bio-oil, and a slow release fertilizer is recovered from the reactor. The gas can then be used to operate the pyrolysis unit, making it a self-sufficient system."
And we're not talking chicken-feed here, we're talking potentially good profits. And the process isn't limited to chicken litter, let's not forget the nation's millions of turkeys, ah, the ones with feathers to clarify. The V.A. findings will be presented at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston this week. The meeting website is here.