Policy     Economics     Technologies

LCA of thermal conversion of poultry litter at BMC Moerdijk

There are a range of options available for processing poultry litter. In the Netherlands over one-third is currently burned in the incinerator operated by BMC Moerdijk to generate electricity, with the ash being used as a fertilizer substitute. BMC Moerdijk commissioned CE Delft to assess the environmental impact of thermal conversion of the litter at their facility and compare it with that of eight alternative processing routes, like Co-digestion. Composting or direct application of the raw litter.
Nutrient balance
The nutrient balance, considers the presence of (effective) organic matter and the nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium before and after processing. It shows that in a wood-fired biomass power plant all these useful resources are lost. For thermal conversion the organic matter and nitrogen are lost. But the amount of phosphorus and potassium in the end-product is approximately the same as in the other routes. Phosphorus and potassium are finite resources and therefore important from the perspective of a circular economy and resource conservation.

LCA study
The LCA study shows that all the routes with power generation have environmental benefits. The processing routes with the least environmental impact are:
1. Thermal conversion at the BMC Moerdijk plant 
2. Co-firing in a wood-fired biomass power plant
3. Thermal conversion on a poultry farm
All the routes generating no electricity or heat have an environmental impact. The LCA with system expansion shows that the BMC route  in combination with the production of nitrogen and organic matter in another way, has the least environmental burden,  thus confirming the results of the basic LCA. 
Final conclusion
When the two parts of the study are combined – the nutrient balance and the LCA – thermal conversion at BMC and on a poultry farm both score positively in environmental terms. If thermal conversion on a poultry farm can be combined with effective use of most of the heat, this route scores best environmentally.


Ingrid Odegard
Lonneke de Graaff
Sanne Nusselder

Delft, March 2017

LCA of thermal conversion of poultry litter at BMC Moerdijk

 More information on this study can be obtained from Lonneke de Graaff

Tweets by @cedelft

Column Frans Rooijers - Overdag, als niemand thuis is, schijnt de zon. "Frictie tussen zomer en winter" op Energiep… https://t.co/hxYYdo4JDG
15-11-2017 10:11

Rapport - Energiebesparing in verkeer en vervoer: factsheets ten behoeve van de Nationale Energieverkenning 2017 https://t.co/fW2zzVRkQp
25-10-2017 14:28

Rapport - #Biobased #plastics in a #circular #economy. Policy suggestions for biobased and biobased biodegradable p… https://t.co/nL8CksIC6F
25-10-2017 14:11

Vacature Junior secretaresse https://t.co/4ybXcViypS #vacature #junior #secretaresse #werk #delft
24-10-2017 06:08

Report - Regulating speed: a short-term measure to reduce maritime GHG emissions https://t.co/SDnPBD0WtP
19-10-2017 08:45