Techno-economic Analysis of BioChar Production and Energy Generation from Poultry Litter Waste

Ye Huang, Mark Anderson, G A Lyons, W C McRoberts, Y D Wang, D McIlveen-Wright, AP Roskilly, Neil Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The technical, environmental and economic analysis of generating electricity and/or heat together with biochar from poultry litter (PL) waste is the subject of this study. To carry out this study, the process simulation software ECLIPSE is used. Modelling and simulation have been conducted over the selected system: the pyrolysis/gasification process integrated with an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). The facility will initially be capable of processing 1500 kg of PL waste at 30% moisture content every hour. The expansion plans of the facility are underway to deal with 3000 kg of PL waste per hour. Based on the data gathered, the key technical, environmental and economic issues have been examined. The ECLIPSE simulation shows that when using the reference PL the yield of biochar in the process is around 391 kg per hour with 37% of carbon content and the producer gas has a calorific value of 4.72 MJ/Nm3. Electric power generated by the ORC system is 398kWhe. Recovered low grade heat for space heating is estimated at 1879kWhth.The results of the economic analysis demonstrate that when using the reference PL and paying 20£/tonne for receiving, handling and storing the feedstock without options of selling either heat or electricity, the Break-even selling price (BESP) of the biochar is estimated at £222 per tonne. If the sales of electricity and heat produced are considered to be about 60£/MWhe and 10£/MWhth, the BESP value will go down to £155 per tonne. The case studies also indicate that when a gate fee of 10£/tonne is introduced the BESP can be further reduced to £40 per tonne, accounting for 74% reduction. On the other hand if biochar generated has an average price of £120 per tonne in the market, the plant is still paying a receiving and handling fee of 20£/tonne for the PL feedstock but will receive one Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) from the UK Government, the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for the electricity generation will be 51£/MWhe, which is compatible with electricity generated by fossil fuel power plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-717
JournalEnergy Procedia
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Nov 2014


  • Techno-economic analysis
  • Modelling And Simulation
  • Poultry Litter
  • Bio-Char
  • Updraft Gasifier


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