A new chicken litter-fueled biomass furnace is set 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 fertilizer. Decreasing the use of propane improves poultry health. That’s because 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, the 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 percent reduction,” said Rocky Irvin, a founding member of Global Re-Fuel and a poultry grower for more than 10 years.

A study at Auburn University confirmed that dry heat (e.g., PLF-500 warm-air biomass furnace heat) reduces ammonia in the poultry house by an average of 15ppm; which results in an 80 percent improvement in bird mortality, increased bird weight of 0.136 lbs/bird and a 1.2 percent improvement in feed conversion rate. In addition, the 7.7 percent reduction in moisture results in a 4.6 percent improvement in paw 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.”  

For more information, please visit www.globalrefuel.com.