Global Re-Fuel develops new poultry biomass furnace

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

The PLF-500 can save businesses up to $15,000 per year
The PLF-500 can save businesses up to $15,000 per year

Related tags Poultry farming Livestock Processing equipment & plant design

Energy technology company Global Re-Fuel has developed a new chicken litter-fuelled biomass furnace that is designed to improve poultry health and farmers’ operating margins by more than $15,000 a year per broiler house. 

The Global Re-Fuel PLF-500 warm-air biomass furnace converts raw poultry litter into energy, eliminating the use of propane by providing heat to broiler houses and creating a pathogen-free organic fertiliser.

Improved poultry heath is achieved with reduced propane usage. With each gallon of propane burned, almost a gallon of water is released into the air, creating excess humidity that contributes to an increase in ammonia, a rise in poultry house pathogens and disease transmission. Additionally, this furnace helps eliminate darkling beetles, further improving poultry health and reducing poultry house damage. 

Our tests show that a Global Re-Fuel-heated poultry house generated ammonia levels of 7ppm versus 27ppm in a propane-heated poultry house – a 74% reduction​,” said Rocky Irvin, a founding member of Global Re-Fuel and poultry grower.

A study at Auburn University confirmed that dry heat, such as that achieved by PLF-500 warm-air biomass furnace heat, reduces ammonia in the poultry house by an average of 15ppm, which results in an 80% improvement in bird mortality, increased bird weight of 0.136 lb/bird and a 1.2% improvement in feed conversion rate. In addition, the 7.7% reduction in moisture results in a 4.6% improvement in paw (foot pad) quality. When multiplied by the roughly 275,000 birds per year produced in a typical two-barn system, the resultant annual economic benefits that accrue to growers and integrators are significant.

This technology is advantageous all the way around for farmers and integrators​,” Irvin said. “It improves bird health while significantly reducing the environmental impact of the poultry farm​.”  

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