February 15, 2017, Rhodesdale, MD – Governor Larry Hogan and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder recently toured the Murphy family’s Double Trouble Farm – the first Maryland poultry operation to install cutting-edge technology that converts poultry litter to energy.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture awarded a $970,000 animal waste technology grant to Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. (BHSL) for the manure-to-energy project and an additional $139,000 to monitor its operation for one year.

“I am proud to recognize the Murphy family for bringing this innovative technology to Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “I commend the Murphy’s and the entire Double Trouble Farm team for leading the way for farmers to improve water quality, increase energy independence, and improve animal waste management to ensure the sustainability of animal agriculture in our state.”

Maryland’s Animal Waste Technology Fund is a grant program that provides seed funding to companies that demonstrate innovative technologies to manage or repurpose manure resources. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products. To date, the program has approved $3.7 million in grants to six projects.

Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc, with the support of Mountaire, has adapted innovative manure management technology to benefit the poultry industry and the Murphy family’s farm. The system utilizes poultry litter as a feedstock by converting it to energy to heat the farm’s chicken houses and generate electricity,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “A great deal of credit goes to the Murphy family for taking the time and risk involved in being the test case for a promising new way of doing business.”

This project has the following benefits:

  • Reduced environmental impact: A reduction in the potential environmental impact of manure resources
  • Lower energy costs: A reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating poultry houses
  • Improved animal welfare: Improved animal welfare, with improved health and reduced risk of diseases
  • Improved performance: Faster growth – poultry reaching target weight more quickly
  • Additional revenue: Potential expansion of revenue streams – earnings from the sale of excess electricity and a fertilizer by-product

“I am excited that a unique piece of technology designed in Ireland is going to transform U.S. poultry production and play a crucial role in reducing the environmental impact of the industry on the Chesapeake Bay,” said Denis Brosnan, chairman of Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. “I hope this pilot project is the start of a broader initiative to turn poultry manure from a potential pollutant into a valuable source of energy.”

Biomass Heating Solutions, Inc. will use electricity generating technology (fluidized bed combustion) to process poultry litter into energy for heating two of four poultry houses during the demonstration period. The system is projected to generate 526 megawatts of electricity per year. Adding heat to poultry houses has been proven at other sites to improve the flock growth rate and overall bird health. These benefits will enhance potential profit margins, reduce payback period for the technology, and improve the likelihood of transferability to other poultry operations. The Murphys are working with BHSL to explore markets for the high-phosphorus ash by-product including Maryland fertilizer companies. As a result of energy production and marketing the ash, 90 percent of nutrients in the poultry litter produced by 14 poultry houses will have alternative uses.

Mountaire is excited about the potential that new alternative use technologies for litter bring to the poultry industry,” said Bill Massey, Mountaire director of housing and feed milling. “We will continue to work with the Murphys, MDA and BHSL on this manure to energy project. Our company and our industry continue to look for solutions to be good environmental stewards.”


Aug. 27, 2015, Herefordshire, UK – Cargill’s European poultry business has signed a 20-year agreement to convert poultry manure to energy with technology from BHSL.

July 29, 2014, Baltimore, MD – The project seemed simple enough — build a waste-to-energy plant on the Eastern Shore fueled by poultry manure, keeping it from flushing into and polluting the bay, while creating green jobs and boosting Maryland’s fledgling renewable energy industry

But 18 months after being heralded by Gov. Martin O'Malley, the $75 million project has been stymied after prospective sites and a potential partnership fell through. Now state officials are weighing giving Green Planet Power Solutions, the California-based company chosen to build the 13.4-megawatt plant, a nearly $35 million subsidy on top of what the state previously agreed to pay for its power. READ MORE

October 24, 2013, Annapolis, MD – An Annapolis firm sees a money-making opportunity in household garbage and chicken waste.

Energy3 LLC is trying to interest Maryland municipalities in a procedure to gasify curbside garbage — and chicken manure — and then turn it into electricity. The power generated can be sold back to the grid and create another revenue stream for communities. READ MORE
October 2, 2013 – Waste from dairy farms and beer breweries could provide the necessary ingredients to grow algae-based biofuels, leaders of a project designed to research this technology said recently.

Matt Cota, executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the association a $51,000 grant to research biofuel technology using algae during a news conference at the Nordic Dairy Farm in Charlotte. READ MORE
Sept. 20, 2013, Gettysburg, PA - The Gettysburg Nutrient and Recovery Facility plant burns through 240 tons of egg layer manure per day, turning it into valuable fertilizer, animal feed supplements and enough renewable thermal energy to power the plant and roughly 2,500 homes.

The plant's ability to burn through nitrogen and phosphorus-rich chicken droppings in a useful manner drew the attention of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which visited the facility as part of a field trip exploring alternatives to land applications of manure. READ MORE

Jul. 30, 2012, Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted how our nation's forests are contributing billions of dollars to the economy and creating jobs through tourism, restoration, and renewable energy initiatives. The U.S. Forest Service released its annual visitor survey which showed Forest Service lands attracted 166 million visitors in 2011, and that visitor spending in nearby communities sustained more than 200,000 full- and part-time jobs. The Forest Service also announced that restoration efforts contributed $21 million to local economies and reduced fire threats on 123,000 acres of land nationwide.

Additionally, the Forest Service announced an award of $4 million for wood-to-energy projects and the opening of a first of its kind, $1.7 million nanocellulose lab. The lab will support an emerging market for new wood-derived renewable materials that will create jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the economy, becoming the country's leading producer of forest-based nanomaterials.

"Our nation's forests are a precious natural resource providing multiple economic opportunities that are creating jobs and contributing billions of dollars in economic activity across the country," said Vilsack. "Nearly 166 million visitors to Forest Service lands helped sustain over 200,000 jobs last year, while restoration and fuel thinning efforts contributed $21 million to local economies, producing 121 million board feet of lumber and 267,000 tons of woody biomass for bio-energy production. Today's announcement of an additional $4 million for wood-to-energy projects and the opening of an innovative lab will ensure that our forests continue to provide new bio-based manufacturing opportunities that create good, sustainable jobs in rural communities."

Forest Service visitor report shows economic, health benefits of America's national forests

The findings of a survey show Forest Service lands continue to be a value that attracted 165.7 million visitors in 2011, and that visitor spending in nearby communities sustained more than 200,000 full- and part-time jobs. The National Visitor Use Monitoring survey conducted by the Forest Service provides estimates of the amount of recreational visits to each national forest and describes a number of important characteristics of those visits. The report shows that visitors are overwhelmingly satisfied with their experiences on national forests and grasslands.

Forest restoration efforts across the country benefit national forests, boost bio-economy

The Forest Service reduced fire threats on more than 123,000 acres of land nationwide in fiscal year 2011 as part of a larger effort to improve the health and resiliency of national forests. In its third year of funding, the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program also contributed $21 million to local economies through treatments that included prescribed burns and fuels thinning, producing 121 million board feet of lumber and 267,000 tons of woody biomass for bio-energy production on ten projects around the country.

As a vital program supporting the President's America's Great Outdoors initiative, this program promotes community-based conservation, advances job and volunteer opportunities related to conservation and outdoor recreation and builds upon existing partnerships to meet local and regional conservation goals.

Forest Service Awards Nearly $4 Million For Renewable Wood Energy Projects

The Forest Service award today of nearly $4 million in grants for wood energy products help expand regional economies and create new jobs. The grants, totaling $3.9 million, will be distributed to 20 small businesses, tribes and community groups to develop renewable energy projects that require engineering services.

The projects will use woody material such as beetle-killed trees removed from forests to aid in wildfire prevention. The material will then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce green energy for heating and electricity. The awardees will use funds from the Woody Biomass Utilization Grant program to secure the engineering services necessary for final design, permitting and cost analysis.

The grant program helps applicants complete the necessary design work needed to secure public or private investment for construction. Examples of projects include the engineering design of a woody biomass boiler for steam at a sawmill, a non-pressurized hot water system for a hospital or school and a biomass-power generation facility.

Nanocellulose Plant at Forest Products Lab to produce renewable, forest-based nanomaterials

The Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is poised to become the country's leading producer of forest-based nanomaterials with the opening of a $1.7 million nanocellulose pilot plant. The facility will support an emerging market for new wood-derived renewable materials that will create jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.

As new lightweight, high-performance products are developed and commercialized, fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced, manufacturing in rural areas will increase, and many new high-paying jobs will be created. FPL's new facility will aid in the commercialization of these materials by providing researchers and early adopters of the technology with working quantities of forest-based nanomaterials.

For over 100 years, FPL's work with academia, industry, and other government agencies has led to ground-breaking discoveries with great benefit to the public. Additional information on FPL's research is available at

USDA works with state, local, and Tribal governments and private landowners to conserve and protect our nation's natural resources – helping preserve our land, and clean our air and water. President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors initiative in 2010 to foster a 21st century approach to conservation that is designed by and accomplished in partnership with the American people. During the past two years, USDA's conservation agencies- the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Farm Service Agency-have delivered technical assistance and implemented restoration practices on public and private lands. We are working to better target conservation investments: embracing locally driven conservation and entering partnerships that focus on large, landscape-scale conservation.

Jul. 24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland - Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of John Wiley and Sons Ltd's new book 'Biogas Production. Pretreatment Methods in Anaerobic Digestion' to their offering.

Biogas Production covers the most cutting-edge pretreatment processes being used and studied today for the production of biogas.

As an increasingly important piece of the 'energy pie,' biogas and other biofuels are being used more and more around the world in every conceivable area of industry and could be a partial answer to the energy problem and the elimination of global warming.

This book will highlight the recent advances in the pretreatment and value addition of lignocellulosic wastes (LCW) with the main focus on domestic and agro-industrial residues. Mechanical, physical, and biological treatment systems are brought into perspective. The main value-added products from lignocellulosic wastes are summarized in a manner that pinpoints the most recent trends and the future directions.

Physico-chemical and biological treatment systems seem to be the most favored options while biofuels, biodegradable composites, and biosorbents production paint a bright picture of the current and future bio-based products. Engineered microbes seem to tackle the problem of bioconversion of substrates that are otherwise nonconvertible by conventional wild strains. Although the main challenge facing LCW utilization is the high costs involved in treatment and production processes, some recent affordable processes with promising results have been proposed. Future trends are being directed to nanobiotechnology and genetic engineering for improved processes and products.

This groundbreaking new volume:

  • Is a comprehensive compilation of anaerobic digestion methods, the treatment processes used for organic wastes and process residues
  • Covers hydrolysis, the rate-limiting step of anaerobic digestion of semi-solid wastes, in which both solubilization of particulate matter and biological decomposition of organic polymers to monomers or dimers take place
  • Offers an in-depth study of potential unconventional feedstocks for anaerobic digestion technology and their practical applications
  • Is in line with the growing green chemistry and green engineering practices, covering research and development of unconventional pretreatment techniques to improve the kinetics of hydrolysis and hence enhance the biogas production rates and yields from lignocellulosic biomass during anaerobic digestion processes.

Key Topics Covered:

  1. Anaerobic Digestion: Pretreatments of Substrates
  2. Recalcitrance of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Anaerobic Digestion
  3. The Effect of Physical, Chemical, and Biological Pretreatments of Biomass on its Anaerobic Digestibility and Biogas Production
  4. Application of Ultrasound Pretreatment for Sludge Digestion
  5. Microwave Sludge Irradiation
  6. Hydrolytic Enzymes Enhancing Anaerobic Digestion
  7. Oxidizing Agents and Organic Solvents as Pretreatment for Anaerobic Digestion
  8. Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Utilization in Greece: Current Status and Perspectives
  9. Original Research: Investigating the Potential of Using Biogas in Cooking Stove in Rodrigues
  10. Optimizing and Modeling the Anaerobic Digestion of Lignocellulosic Wastes by Rumen Cultures
  11. Pretreatment of Biocatalyst as Viable Option for Sustained Production of Biohydrogen from Wastewater Treatment

For more information visit

Jul. 4, 2012 - Dutch Organic Waste technology specialist Christiaens Group and Swiss-German Renergon International AG, producer of Dry Anaerobic Digestion technology further develop their synergy.

Dutch Christiaens Group recently acquired a minority interest in Renergon International, a Swiss-German manufacturer of proven Dry Anaerobic Digestion Technology. This participation means a further anchoring for either Christiaens Group and Renergon International as a supplier on the worldwide market for organic waste processing technologies. Using this technology means generating green energy from waste.

Both Christiaens Group, a medium size family owned business, also renown as a worldwide supplier of mushroom growing facilities and Renergon emphasise their mutual satisfaction with this logical step which will lead to a further expansion of market share for both companies.

For more information, please visit and

Dec. 16, 2011, Salisbury, MD - Perdue AgriBusiness, Inc., in partnership with Fibrowatt LLC, has submitted a proposal to the state of Maryland in response to the State's Clean Bay Power Request for Proposal. The Fibrowatt/Perdue AgriBusiness proposal calls for a combined heat and power biomass boiler operation to be located at the Perdue AgriBusiness Zion Church Road complex near Salisbury, Md. The proposed facility will provide 10 megawatts of electricity to the state as well as up to 70,000 pounds per hour of steam to the Perdue AgriBusiness complex. The renewable fuel source will be a combination of poultry litter, layer hen manure, wood chips and other locally sourced biomass.

The proposed project is another step forward in Perdue's commitment to environmental responsibility through its renewable/alternative energy initiatives, including solar power installations, biomass energy partnerships and a litter-to-energy initiative. Perdue AgriBusiness currently uses fossil fuel to generate steam, which provides heat during various steps of soybean processing and poultry feed manufacturing. For the past two years a team has conducted a thorough review of available technologies to convert poultry litter to energy, meeting with more than 45 companies and evaluating five technology categories in the course of its review.

"Our conclusion at this point is that the only commercially viable technology is combustion. The other technologies, while promising to varying degrees, represent a significant risk of project failure compared to combustion," said Perdue AgriBusiness President Dick Willey.

The Clean Bay Energy program makes sense based on Perdue AgriBusiness' track record of providing alternatives for land application of poultry litter and experience in alternative energy projects. In 2001 Perdue AgriBusiness established a subsidiary, Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC, which converts poultry litter to a pasteurized, pelletized organic fertilizer. This provides poultry growers with an important management alternative for their litter. Since its establishment, Perdue AgriRecycle has shipped approximately 12 million pounds of nitrogen and 7.5 million pounds of phosphorous (P2O5) out of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Through Perdue AgriRecycle, Perdue AgriBusiness is the largest buyer of poultry litter in Maryland.

In addition, Perdue AgriBusiness has experience in a variety of alternative/renewable energy projects, sourcing feedstock and/or partnering with other companies on biodiesel, ethanol, solar and biomass projects. Perdue AgriBusiness currently has two biomass boiler operations (using wood, peanut hulls and cotton gin waste) in North Carolina. These are combined heat and power operations providing process steam and electricity.

Fibrowatt brings unique and extensive experience in the combustion of poultry litter to the project. Fibrowatt's management team has been developing and operating poultry-litter-fueled power plants for a total of 21 years. The company originated in the United Kingdom with the original poultry-powered plant consisting of a small boiler fueled on a test basis with poultry litter to provide heat to a local distillery. Following this first design, a 13 megawatt poultry-litter-fueled power plant in Eye, UK (the world's first) was constructed, and two other subsequent plants (14 megawatt and 39 megawatt) were constructed before the team came to the United States.

In 2007, Benson, Minn., became home to the United States' first operating poultry litter plant, the Fibrominn Biomass Power Plant. The 55 megawatt power plant combusts more than 700,000 tons of litter and biomass annually.

"We are excited about this project because it supports agriculture and the environment," said Willey. "It supports both animal agriculture and crop production in Maryland by providing poultry growers an additional management alternative for their poultry litter yet keeping litter, a great fertilizer and soil amendment, available to crop producers for appropriate application.

"Environmentally, this project will remove a significant amount of poultry litter from land application, thereby eliminating the risk of any portion of the nitrogen or phosphorous in this litter or manure from finding its way into the Chesapeake Bay watershed," Willey said.

"The economic and environmental benefits resulting from the proposed project align the interests of the State, environmental groups and the agriculture sector with the U.S. EPA's goals of improving the Chesapeake Bay," said Jim Potter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Homeland Renewable Energy Inc., the parent company of Fibrowatt. "This proposed project will continue our successful legacy of developing, financing, constructing and operating power projects that combust poultry litter.

"Our Fibrominn plant, located less than 1/2 mile from the city of Benson, Minn., has never received a single complaint from the local Citizens Advisory Panel. This is testimony to the importance we place on being a good neighbor in any community in which we locate."

Benson Mayor Paul Kittelson welcomes visitors who would like to see for themselves. "We extend a warm welcome to any local citizen in Maryland who wants to come to the City of Benson and tour our biomass facility. Fibrowatt has been a great neighbor and great addition to our community."

The facility will incorporate the use of the most advanced state-of-the-art emissions control systems that have ever been applied to a biomass power plant. The project will, by converting power and steam production from a fossil fuel to a renewable fuel, reduce green house gas emissions by an estimated 165,000 tons of CO2 annually. The ash produced from the combustion of poultry litter will be a valuable fertilizer by-product which will be marketed for broad application in the agricultural sector.

About Perdue AgriBusiness

Perdue AgriBusiness ranks among the top U.S. grain companies and is committed to helping its customers prosper with flexible, forward-thinking solutions for agriculturally based products from a uniquely trusted name. Perdue AgriBusiness is a direct exporter of U.S. agricultural commodities through the company's deepwater port in Chesapeake, Va. Perdue AgriBusiness merchandises grain and oilseeds, processes soybeans, operates protein conversion and blending plants, trades a wide variety of agricultural commodities and refines edible oils. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Perdue AgriBusiness ventures touch such diverse opportunities as bio-energy, organic fertilizers and specialty livestock feeds.

About Fibrowatt

Fibrowatt LLC is a developer, owner and operator of poultry litter fueled power plants. The management team of Fibrowatt pioneered the production of renewable energy from poultry litter. Fibrowatt is part of the Homeland Renewable Energy Group ("HRE"), based in Pennsylvania, which specializes in producing energy from agricultural wastes, including poultry litter, cattle manure, hog manure and food wastes. The HRE engineering team has successfully overcome the various challenges inherent in the combustion or anaerobic digestion of natural by-products of farming and animal husbandry to produce the cleanest possible biomass energy. In 2011, HRE announced the launch of a creative and new emissions control system, which will enable biomass power plants, including the Clean Bay Power Project, to achieve extremely low air emission levels -- ensuring that the project will comply with all applicable state and federal regulatory requirements.

The plan by a company called EnergyWorks to build a $30 million thermal gasification plant near Gettysburg, Penn., to process manure generated by the state’s largest egg producer is one of those ideas that seems to have “can’t miss” written all over it.

June 22, 2010, Sackville, N.B. – A New Brunswick beef farmer literally has tonnes of manure he'd like to burn for energy, but says the government won't pay him enough to do it.

March 24, 2010 - The Alberta government has joined forces with several counties in the province plus the local agriculture industry to launch a four-year project aimed at increasing the amount of liquid dairy manure being injected or applied through surface banding.

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