Green power from incinerated chicken droppings, a climate-positive approach: Moerdijk is testing it out

In Moerdijk, green power is being produced through the incineration of chicken droppings. The plant may even become climate positive or carbon negative, thanks to small grains that resemble couscous. If you take a deep breath, you can smell the fuel the power plant runs on: chicken droppings. A lot of chicken droppings; every working day, sixty fully loaded trucks arrive here to discharge their cargo into a bunker, after which the smelly delivery disappears into the factory’s ever-receptive funnel mouth.

BMC Moerdijk generates green electricity by incinerating chicken droppings (poultry manure as they call it, because turkey droppings are also included in this process mainly around Christmas). This produces enough power to supply all the homes in a city the size of Den Bosch, says operations manager Luc Westdorp.

If you capture and store the CO₂ coming out of the chimney at BMC Moerdijk, then this electricity plant could even become climate positive (carbon negative), Shell thought. The technology they use for this has been around for a while, but has only been tested sparingly in practice. The technology in question is solid sorbent technology in which small granules swirl through the flue gases and absorb CO₂ in the process. Once they are saturated with CO₂, they disappear into a second column next to the flue, where they are heated by steam. During this heating process, they release the absorbed CO₂, after which the ‘empty’ granules disappear into the flue gas duct at the top. Every few minutes, a few hundred kilograms of these grains pass through this climatological pressure cooker. In practice, they can absorb 90 to 95% of the present CO₂.

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