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The Engineering and Economic Feasibility of Using Poultry Litter as a Fuel to Generate Electric Power at Maryland's Eastern Correctional Institute


This report presents an analysis of the engineering, environmental, and economic feasibility of the Eastern Correctional Institute (ECI) meeting its electric power and thermal requirements by relying on poultry litter as a fuel.  Poultry litter is a waste product of the poultry industry, which is concentrated on the southern Eastern Shore of Maryland.  In addition to satisfying all or a portion of the utility requirements of ECI, a maximum/medium security prison in Princess Anne, Maryland, the use of poultry litter as a fuel would reduce the amount of poultry waste currently used on the Eastern Shore as fertilizer.  Current use of poultry litter as fertilizer results in excess application of phosphorus on the Eastern Shore, which may contribute to environmental problems in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Based on the engineering and environmental assessments conducted, three alternative scenarios to satisfy ECI's electric power supply and thermal requirements using poultry litter as a fuel were developed.  For all scenarios, as well as a base case defined by current operations at ECI, 20-year life-cycle costs were estimated based on projections of usage, capital costs, fuel costs, labor costs, and other relevant factors.  The least-cost scenario assessed, which entails modification to the existing ECI cogeneration facility to burn poultry litter, results in the elimination of approximately 43,000 tons of poultry litter per year from the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, on average, and exhibits 20-year life-cycle costs of approximately $21 million, about $9 million lower than base case costs.

You may either browse the on-line version of this report, or download the entire document in WordPerfect format.  Please note that not all of the formatting of the original document is maintained in the on-line version; if you are interested in obtaining an electronic copy of the document, you are advised to download the WordPerfect version.

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This page was updated on April 9, 1998.