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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL BY-PRODUCTS AS ADSORBENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Activated Carbon from Broiler Litter: Process Description and Cost of Production

Authors
item Lima, Isabel
item McAloon, Andrew
item Boateng, Akwasi

Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 24, 2007
Publication Date: February 21, 2008
Citation: Lima, I.M., Mcaloon, A.J., Boateng, A.A. 2008. Activated carbon from broiler litter: process description and cost of production. Biomass and Bioenergy. 32(6):568-572.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry manure continues to represent a significantly large and problematic portion of the U.S. agricultural waste generated yearly. A study has been done to estimate the cost of producing activated carbon from poultry litter. The objective of this study was to develop a conceptual capital and operating cost estimate. The activated carbon facility obtains the poultry litter (44,000 lbs per day) from various farmers at a cost of $5 per ton and $25 per ton for transportation and converts it into granular activated carbon for a final carbon yield of 21.6%. This facility operates continuously, 330 days of the year. Study included several parameters such as equipment sizing, capital costs and operating costs, such as labor, utilities, maintenance, and equipment depreciation. The largest contributor to the cost of producing the activated carbon is the $1,200,00 equipment cost of the combined pyrolysis/activation furnace, which contributes about $0.47/kg to the production cost. This study indicates that activated carbon can be produced by this method at a cost of about $1.44/kg.

Technical Abstract: Animal manure continues to represent a significantly large and problematic portion of the U.S. agricultural waste generated yearly. Granular activated carbons made from pelletized poultry litter have been shown to adsorb various positively charged metal ions from laboratory prepared solutions. Based on this information, a study has been done to estimate the cost of producing activated carbon from poultry litter. The objective of this study was to develop a conceptual capital and operating cost estimate using the Superpro Designer process simulation program. In the study, it was assumed that the activated carbon facility obtains the poultry litter from various farmers at a cost of $5.50/MT and $27.50/MT for transportation. The carbon manufacturing facility processes 20 MT (44,000 lbs) of poultry litter per day and converts it into granular activated carbon for a final carbon yield of 21.6% (wet basis). This facility operates continuously, 330 days of the year. Several parameters were incorporated in the study including equipment sizing, capital costs and operating costs, such as labor, utilities, maintenance, and equipment depreciation. The largest contributor to the cost of producing the activated carbon is the $1,200,00 equipment cost of the combined pyrolysis/activation furnace, which contributes about $0.47/kg to the production cost. This study indicates that activated carbon can be produced by this method at a cost of about $1.44/kg.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014