The storage area is a separate sealed area. Once filled at the end of a flock of birds, the manure handling is automated to minimise the need for human intervention in the fuel feed process and prevent cross contamination between the energy centre and growing sheds.
Furthermore, the air for the combustion process is ‘pulled’ from the manure storage area. By maintaining the storage area under negative pressure odours and pathogens are completely negated. Typically, the storage area is located within a purpose built energy centre which also houses the BHSL plant and ancillary equipment.
Once a house is cleared of birds the litter is loaded into a bio-secure fuel storage area. The fuel storage area is kept under negative pressure. Any odours or pathogens are drawn through the manure to energy plant and treated at 850 °C for 2 seconds. Once loaded at the end of each batch, no action from the farmer is required and farm staff have no further contact with the manure.
An innovative bulk handling system called the BHSL Toploader is used to transfer litter from the storage area to the combustion plant. This low energy handling system is automated, which minimises interaction with litter and farm staff. The system has been so successful, that bhsl offer this as a separate product suitable for a wide variety of applications and industries.
Red Zone: Manure Storage Area
- Transport manure from houses within hours of depopulation
- After filling, all handling is automated so farm staff do not enter Zone
- Air from Zone is treated at 850 °C for 2 seconds
- Area is kept under negative pressure to prevent leaks of odours or pathogens
Blue Zone: Plant Area
- Plant entry limited to trained personnel
- Separate changing facilities and overalls for Zones
- Continuous control of combustion to meet stringent emissions standards
Biosecurity processes within the energy centre such as pest control are carried out by trained personnel. Foot dips and normal biosecurity measures must be followed.
Stephen Lister, poultry veterinarian with Crowshall Veterinary Services in East Anglia reacted favourably to news of the 2014 legislation:
“This is exciting news for farmers in our industry as this provision should allow them to produce more sustainability and economically, and from an animal health perspective should be a considerable biosecurity benefit to UK Poultry generally to reduce the amount of poultry litter in the environment.”
If electricity is generated then the storage area is sized to contain all the manure from the previous flock which is then processed through the energy centre. Since no manure leaves the site to be spread on land the risk of spreading pathogens between sites is reduced. The removal of land spreading removes the risk of surface water pollution and the contamination of cattle with botulism.