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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358531

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Impeller blower performance in conveying broiler litter

item Way, Thomas - Tom
item Tewolde, Haile
item Watts, Dexter

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2019
Publication Date: 9/23/2019
Citation: Way, T.R., Tewolde, H., Watts, D.B. 2019. Impeller blower performance in conveying broiler litter. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 35(5):815-822.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry production in the U.S. generates a large amount of poultry litter, which is a mixture of poultry manure and a bedding material, such as pine shavings. Poultry litter removed from poultry houses is usually applied on pastures using a spreading machine to apply the litter to the ground surface. Application of litter on the ground allows nutrients to be carried away in runoff water, resulting in possible environmental degradation. A machine for applying litter in narrow bands beneath the soil surface is being developed, which could potentially reduce phosphorus and other nutrients from being transported from the field in surface water runoff. In this study, a blower for use on such a machine was developed and tested for conveying poultry litter. Poultry litter that was relatively dry was successfully conveyed by the blower, but the blower performance was not satisfactory when the litter was relatively moist. Chain-type conveyors are expected to be more effective than this blower for conveying litter that is relatively moist.

Technical Abstract: An inexpensive blower for conveying poultry litter a short distance horizontally and downward was developed. When relatively dry pine shavings-based broiler litter with a water content of 27% w.b. was used, and the blower impeller speed was 930 r/min, the blower conveyed the litter well at a rate of 1.2 kg/s. The blower performance was unsatisfactory, however, when relatively moist litter with a water content of 45% w.b. was used because the litter adhered to the interior of the blower outlet and completely clogged the outlet. The safety of people in the vicinity of the blower is a concern if (a) the litter contains rocks or other hard objects and (b) there is no cover or shield to prevent these hard objects from being thrown out away from the blower inlet. When the blower was run at 889 +/- 14 r/min without any litter, so it was conveying only air, as the diameter of the circular blower inlet increased by a factor of five from 25 mm (1.0 in.) to 127 mm (5.0 in.), the mean outlet air velocity increased by a factor of four from 3.0 to 12.0 m/s. Chain-type conveyors are expected to be more effective than this blower for conveying litter that has a relatively high water content.