The domestic chicken is not a pleasant animal, but it’s a delicious one. In Maryland, it might also be a source of not just delicious hot wings, but also electric power.
Chicken crap is a serious problem in Maryland, which is somehow the eighth largest chicken producer in America. They have so many freakin’ birds, their feces is polluting the Chesapeake Bay and damaging Maryland’s seafood industry. See, chicken poop is high in phosphorous and nitrogen, which plants love. The problem is that waterborne plants really love it, so if it goes into the ocean, algae blooms, sucks up all the oxygen in the water, and kills all the sea life nearby. As you might guess, a state known for its crabs is not a fan of this development.
So, Maryland and its chicken producers are going to turn it into energy to prevent runoff. Chicken producers in the area are teaming up with a green energy company to make a power plant. The chicken manure goes into an anaerobic tank, and bacteria feast on it. The bacteria, in turn, produce methane, and the power plant burns that methane, which will probably be used to roast the chickens who first laid down that manure. It’s the circle of life.
While it won’t prevent the whole problem, and it does raise the question of why we have so much chicken waste in the first place, at least it’s a creative solution to a disgusting problem. Hopefully, Maryland will be careful with that bacteria, considering one type of it nearly wiped out all life on Earth.