Worcester County Farm to Turn Chicken Waste into Energy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Worcester County Farm to Turn Chicken Waste into Energy

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POCOMOKE CITY, Md.- It is a smelly solution to a real problem that is fueling new technology. Millenium Farms in Pocomoke City is on the cutting edge of that technology, getting a boost with a major grant from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. And the benefit is two-fold.

It might not smell too pretty...

“It takes your breath away. Literally,” remarked Charlotte Jinks of Chincoteague.

“Definitely would not want to use it for after shave or any kind of perfume,” added Tom Lynch.

But perhaps it is time to change the way we think about that distinctly Delmarva smell; chicken poop.

“This is an opportunity for us to take what would otherwise be deemed a liability, and to actually utilize it in a form of renewable energy,” explained Jason Lambertson of Millenium farms.

Lambertson is looking to turn chicken waste into energy. His farm was given a $676,000 grant to help assist their project, through a partnership with Berlin-based company Planet Found Energy Development.

“With the help of the Department of Agriculture and the grant we received, we're able to actually prove out a product, we're able to prove out a process that could basically turn the face of how manure is used today in our state,” Lambertson said.

But you may be wondering: How does chicken manure actually transform into energy?

First, Lambertson explained, the manure is processed and converted through something called anaerobic digestion, creating an output of methane gas.

"These tanks here is where the methane gas rises and then that's what captures the gas to run back to the generator," Lambertson noted, while showing WBOC the project site on Friday.

Besides energy, every batch of treated manure means less nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay.

So before you balk at that offensive odor, Lambertson says, remember: It could be the key to making Delmarva farms more sustainable, and keeping our waterways clean for generations to come.

Millenium Farms plans to have construction complete by the end of the year, with initial data sometime in the Spring.

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