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Feasibility of Integrated Poultry and
Ethanol Production in North Alabama

This project is funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and several co-funders. The objective of this project is to assess the feasibility of an integrated ethanol and poultry production (IPEP) system in north Alabama that uses poultry litter as an alternative source of process energy for corn/ethanol production and is projected to improve the overall economic and environmental performance of both ethanol and poultry production. Compared with traditional mid-west corn/ethanol plants, advantages of an IPEP system for corn/ethanol production are lower-cost process energy (steam and direct heat), a local market for dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS) in poultry diets, higher carbon dioxide revenues, and lower ethanol transportation costs than for Midwest corn/ethanol plants. These advantages are partially offset by higher corn costs. Advantages of an IPEP system for poultry production are an economical alternative use for poultry litter and lower poultry feed costs with low-level use of DDGS and poultry litter ash mineral supplement in poultry diets. Practical alternatives to land application of poultry litter are needed because of concerns about phosphorus runoff into surface waters.

The technical and economic feasibility of an IPEP system in north Alabama is being assessed by an interdisciplinary team. The economic assessment will consider the following site-specific factors:

  1. the competing price of natural gas;
  2. cost of converting poultry litter to thermal energy and ash feed supplement or fertilizer;
  3. the delivered cost of poultry litter;
  4. the value of poultry litter ash for use in poultry feed and fertilizers;
  5. renewable energy incentives;
  6. the value of DDGS for low-level use in poultry diets;
  7. ethanol incentives; and
  8. transportation costs for corn, ethanol, DDGS and carbon dioxide for a corn-ethanol plant located in a concentrated poultry area vs. locations closer to primary corn supplies.

Except for use of poultry litter ash as a mineral supplement, the individual technical components of IPEP have been shown to be technically feasible. To provide missing technical information required for the proposed feasibility assessment, feeding trials are being conducted to determine the technical feasibility of using poultry litter ash as a mineral feed supplement. The rest of the technical assessment is focusing on the feasibility of integrating the various technical components into a technically, economically, and environmentally viable system. The expected outcome of the proposed project is to provide the necessary documentation for a project developer to develop a business plan and acquire financing for commercialization of an IPEP system in north Alabama.

IPEP Rationale & Description.ppt

IPEP Project Review Presentations - April 18-19, 2005
Rationale (PDF)
Economics of Ethanol Inputs and Outputs
Poultry Litter Energy System
Handling Systems for Poultry Litter and Ash
Poultry Litter Ash as a Mineral Supplement for Broilers
Reference Points for Poultry Litter Price
Poultry Litter Supply Considerations
Fertilizer Value of Poultry Litter Ash
Siting and Transportation Considerations
Transportation Costs
Review Summary

IPEP Final Report (PDF 4.0 MB)

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