In the race to implement new energy sources, farms have an advantage: lots of manure. A large chicken farm north of Beijing is taking advantage of this fact by using its chicken manure to generate power and heat. And this isn’t just a small-time farm—the 3 million chickens on the farm produce 220 tons of manure and 170 tons of wastewater each day.
The Deqingyuan Chicken Farm Waste Utilization Plant, which is replacing a coal-fired plant, will reduce CO2 emissions by 95,000 tons a year. It will also provide 14,600 MWh of electricity each year.
The plant will feature an anaerobic digester to treat waste material, which will produce biogas that will then power 2 GE Jenbacher gas engines. Heat generated from the process will be used in the waste fermentation process and to warm the farm in the winter.
But the project won’t just benefit the farm—it will also help reduce electricity shortages in the region.
While any facility containing 3 million chickens probably doesn’t treat its animal residents very well, at least this one sets an example for other farms looking to become more self-sufficient—and energy self-sufficiency should always be welcome in a growing country like China.
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Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.