Saturday, March 17, 2007

I Love The Smell Of Turkey Litter In The Morning: It Smells Like Megawatts

It's reported that a Benson, Minnesota power plant will be fueled largely with turkey litter. For those of you who think that meat grows in those plastic packages in the back of the supermarket, turkey litter is, well, crap that's cleaned out of turkey houses.

The plant will burn about half a million tons of the stuff along with other bio waste and generate 50,000 megawatts of power, so 'tis said by the wire services that picked the story up.

I thought that number was mighty big so I checked and I was right, the power plant is only 50 mw according to SNC Lavalin, the people who are building it. It's a steam plant, which may make it more survivable long term than some of the earlier efforts I've heard about. Turkey poop and the other stuff are going to have a lot of erosive contaminants that may affect the life of the plant and its components.

That's no mean feat, though. Power is power, and power is where you find it. The Polk County landfill here, operated by the fine folks at the Metro Waste Authority produces enough methane to run a 5 mw power plant that's operated by the MidAmerican folks.


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