Spain is one of the major producers of broilers and laying hens in the European Union, with an overall market share of around 12%. The poultry manure that is produced is usually employed as fertilizer on cropland, either directly or after a composting process. In some cases, however, this waste is transported over 120. km to be used as fertilizer, with the resulting high transport costs. In other countries, poultry manure is used as an alternative natural fuel source for power generation. In this study, poultry manure from all the laying hen farms in Asturias was characterized with a view to its possible use as an energy source. The Higher Heating Values on a dry basis (experimental) varies between 12,052 and 13,882. kJ/kg. Lower Heating Values (LHVs) on a wet basis range are much lower (mean values of 2664. kJ/kg) due to the high moisture content of poultry manure. Accordingly, the co-combustion of this waste with other types of waste such as forest and wood waste (LHV on a wet basis of 8044 and 15,830. kJ/kg, respectively) or municipal solid waste (LHV on a wet basis of 10,725. kJ/kg) should be considered as an alternative energy source. Chlorine and sulphur contents in dry matter vary around mean values of 0.64% and 0.11%, respectively. The waste also presents high amounts of Ca (4.84%) and K (2.38%). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
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