FuelCell Energy, one of the companies promoting alternative energy sources, announced the sale of a chicken poo-powered fuel cell to an egg farm in California. The 1.4-megawatt fuel cell system will produce enough energy to supply the farm’s operations.
The egg farm owner Ed Olivera seems to be very satisfied with the new acquisition. “My waste disposal costs will decrease as will my power bill as the poultry operation will continually generate the fuel needed to create electricity, reducing the amount of electricity needed from the electrical grid.”
Ed Olivera said that they used to store chicken poo in a waste lagoon. In those places there are usually lots of methane emissions tending to escape into the atmosphere. To avoid this, the egg farm owner decided to install an anaerobic digester that will strip methane from those natural wastes. Instead of contributing to global warming, the methane will be used to power the fuel cell in order to satisfy the egg farm’s energy needs.
The heat resulted from the fuel cell operation will also be used for a combustion-based boiler. So, with such a system installed, the egg farm in California’s Central Valley will be able to produce same healthy natural products with free (read: renewable) electricity.