Frye Poultry Manure Gasifier


Tags: biochar, poultry,

Josh Frye raises a lot of chickens — as many as 800,000 birds a year. A lot of chickens means a lot of chicken poop to dispose of, plus the need for a lot of propane (about 30,000 gallons a year) to keep the chicks warm in the winter. So when his buddy, Matt Harper, suggested they take a road trip to Illinois to see a gasifier that would turn poop into heat, Frye was interested.

The machine at Southern Illinois University made a good impression on Frye. The fixed-bed gasifier processed five tons of poultry litter an hour with no smell, no smoke and no internal moving parts.

Frye decided to procure his own gasifier. He worked with Southern Illinois-based Coaltec Energy to identify a technology that best met his needs, and settled on the fixed-bed gasifier produced by Westside Energies of Canada. Coaltec is the U.S. sales representative for Westside Energies, and the companies helped him apply for grants to purchase and install the unit (approximate cost, $1,000,000).


   The gasifier.

Things fell into place as grants and low-interest loans came through from several West Virginia state agencies. After the grant writing was completed, the price of metal suddenly spiked, increasing the cost of the gasifier. Westside and Coaltec kicked in a contribution to keep the project within budget.

A more welcome surprise came for Frye when he was introduced to the concept of biochar by Tom Basden, an extension specialist in nutrient management at West Virginia University. “Tom told me I would end up growing chickens mainly for the poop,” Frye says. “I thought he was off his rocker, but now I think he might be right on the money.”

polly cox
6/16/2009 11:47:07 AM

looking for a biofuel refinery close to Marietta Ohio for refining bio fuel from slash thanks Polly

Chicken Whisperer
4/30/2009 1:24:15 PM

I must interview Josh Frye on my radio show! Maybe we can come up with a smaller unit that I can heat my house with! Please send me his contact information! Chicken Whisperer

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