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Heat Production of Windrow Composting in the Broiler Houses

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121337899.(doi:10.13031/2013.42173)
Authors:   Min Lei, Yi Liang, Thomas A Costello
Keywords:   windrow, heat production, composting, heat balance

In-house windrowing of built-up litter has been used by some broiler production complex to reduce pathogen loads and rejuvenate the litter for the new flock. When litter is piled up to achieve 55 C for an extended period during downtime, heat generated by the litter pile could become a significant source due to the metabolism of microorganism. Windrow trials were conducted for five flocks as litter accumulated from fresh beddings over a year period. Temperatures and relative humidity of the ambient and air inside the commercial houses were continuously recorded with portable loggers during downtime. Surface and core temperature of windrowed and un-windowed litter were recorded as well at the same time. Heat production rates were calculated directly and extremely high value is found in summer. The specific heat productions were between 0.46 and 2.82 kW/kg litter (web basis) for windrowed litter and 0.39 to 2.56 kW/ kg litter (web basis) for non-windrowed litter. The windrowed house could produce more heat per unit of litter accessible to oxygen than non-windrowed house. A heat balance was built between direct method and indirect method.

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