Limerick-based agri-technology business BHSL has agreed €13m in sales of its manure-to-energy technology which is aimed at transforming the environmental impact of the global poultry industry.

The eight new BHSL Energy Centre units are being sold to large UK poultry farms and will all be installed by March 2017.

“We have succeeded in developing fluidized bed combustion technology for use within the poultry sector,” said BHSL Sales Manager Declan O’Connor.

"These very same systems have been used extensively within the power sector for the past 100 years. So they are well proven.

Our technology has been developed to allow the combustion of high moisture substrates, such as poultry litter and hen manure.

“Up to this point, we have been developing 1.5MW and 500KW options for specific use by poultry farmers.

"The bigger of the two systems would meet the requirements of poultry farms with four sheds.

"However, we are currently developing options that will meet the needs of smaller scale poultry businesses," he said.

O’Connor said that the BHSL systems work on a generational basis.

This means that the litter from a specific crop of birds can be used to meet the heating needs of the subsequent crop.

"The combustion process is totally controlled. For the most part, the nitrogenous compounds within the litter are emitted as nitrogen gas. Nitrous oxides are produced but at extremely low levels.

“The ash produced is an extremely valuable 0:20:20 fertiliser, which can be used within the farming sectors," he said.

O'Connor continued to say that the company has secured a number of important market outlets in the UK.

"The Irish market is also opening up to us. And there is significant potential for the technology in Northern Ireland.

BHSL estimate that farms may be able to meet all their energy needs by using their manure as a fuel, thereby reducing costs and improving the sustainability of intensive poultry production.