Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) is proud to announce the successful completion of a research grant titled “Development & Evaluation of Lab Scale Integrated Biotech Refinery to Convert Poultry Wastes into Industrially Important, Safe & Useful Products.” The project, funded under NRPU-10348 with a grant of 4.3 million PKR from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), was led by Dr. M. Zubair Yousaf, Associate Professor at the KAM-School of Life Sciences.

The primary objective of this pioneering project was to produce renewable green energy from various poultry wastes. Poultry manure, known for posing significant environmental threats by releasing toxic gases, was the focal point of the study. The research tested the feasibility of developing a lab-grade system to generate biogas from poultry manure through anaerobic digestion.

Key findings from the project revealed that while chicken manure has a high bio methane potential, challenges such as its low carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, impurities like sand and heavy metals, fatty acids, and seasonal variations impede effective anaerobic digestion. The study identified poultry manure from cage-type layer farms in controlled sheds as the best feedstock for biogas production. Additionally, it was found that mixing poultry manure with other organic waste, particularly cow dung, can enhance biogas production and overcome these obstacles.

Dr. Yousaf’s team also explored the possibility of automating the biogas production process. Although feasible, issues such as variable feedstock and impurity management must be resolved to develop an effective automated biogas production plant.

Recommendations stemming from this research include urging industries to adopt environmentally friendly methods for converting harmful poultry waste into green energy. Additionally, utilizing biogas could address Pakistan’s longstanding energy shortage problem. The government and environmental protection agencies are encouraged to legislate and promote the implementation of biogas production methods at or near large poultry farms to protect the environment and instill a culture of responsibility in waste management. Thirdly, collaboration with the Pakistan Poultry Association is recommended to ensure proper implementation of this technology, benefiting both the environment and the industry’s profitability. Investors and scientists are urged to collaborate to fill the gap in the market for automated biogas plants for the dairy and poultry industries, approaching this from a business perspective rather than solely as a research project. Furthermore, ministries responsible for environment, climate change, and commerce should enforce the requirement for recycling units at every controlled poultry shed in the country to expedite progress in renewable energy production.

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