Open Innovation Challenge: Manure Valorisation and Energy Production

Animal Care, Nigeria, are looking for ways to transform poultry manure into energy sources and other valuable outputs.

Opportunity Details


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Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding is available to the successful finalist/s for this collaboration.

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Animal Care, based in Nigeria, is looking for innovative ways to transform poultry manure into energy sources and other valuable outputs.  They are seeking suitable technology to convert this waste into other formats such as renewable energy, chemical extraction, specialised compost, etc in a safe and sustainable way. A modular, scalable solution would be preferred, located on-site to minimise transport costs, and to benefit business operations directly.
Solutions are invited from, but not limited to, the following sectors:

  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy
  • Design
  • Construction

Entrants to this competition must be established businesses, start-ups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs. Africa-based entrants, UK-based entrants and those from RoW are invited to apply.

  • Animal Care produces about 25 tonnes of chicken manure daily that is stored on site and sold to farmers at low cost. They are seeking to valorise this effluent to add value to their supply chain in a circular way, either as an efficient, sustainable energy source and additional commercially viable inputs.

    Currently the manure is aggregated using a range of housing systems, comprising:
    •    High-rise automatic houses using conveyor belts
    •    High-rise houses with drop down floor mechanisms
    Some houses have flushing systems able to separate solid and liquid manure, leading on to dewatering, ageing and bagging activity. The manure is aggregated at certain times of year for sale to manure traders in 100kg bags.

    The key challenge is finding suitable technology to convert this waste into other formats (eg: renewable energy, chemical extraction, specialised compost, etc.) in a safe and sustainable way. They are willing to use this waste stream completely, or as fractions, leaving remnant products for additional uses.

  • On-site processes are preferred to minimise transport costs and ensure commercial viability. The ideal usage would be as inputs that directly benefit the business, rather than being sold externally. A modular, scalable solution would be preferred.

    Sustainable energy sources have the power to solve Animal Care’s future energy needs and to remove energy security risks. There are currently no poultry power plants fitting Animal Care’s use case.

    One way to convert poultry manure into renewable energy is via anaerobic digestion, however there are a number of obstacles on this waste-to-wealth pathway. These obstacles include dealing with antibiotics, ammonia, fatty acids, trace elements and organic compounds. Various ways to enhance digestion and/or valorise manure are being tested globally.

    Animal Care seeks to avoid bringing animal or plant wastes onto the farm to avoid contamination dangers. Any bio-gas (or similar solutions) must rely on poultry waste only. If any additional materials must be added, please specify these clearly. 

    Local or imported materials may be used to build the pilot plant. The initial goal would be to find a way to generate 10-20 kVA to power test operations. Animal Care is willing to invest in the winning process to scale it to 300-500 kVA range, to provide a permanent power solution that is cost effective. For energy production solutions, please specify the energy output per ton of manure utilised.

    It is important to consider the treatment process alongside any benefits of valorisation. How can Animal Care handle manure in a more environmentally friendly way. The current process involves a lot of manual activity which could be refocussed productively elsewhere.

    Note that Animal Care is not seeking a new business line requiring additional complexity for logistics and personnel. They are seeking to transform the manure to benefit their existing operations, so outputs should be directly valuable to the business.

    One immediate use case would be using the power generated to dry wet brewery waste, which is available locally. Poultry manure derived gas would power gas burners, used to dry this BSG waste.

    Animal Care may also consider additional opportunities alongside energy production, eg: chemical extraction.

    • Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding (Subject to T&C)
    • Opportunity to pitch your solution to Animal Care
    • Collaboration/partnership with Animal Care
    • Technical support from Animal Care team
    • Sector expertise from KTN
    • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
    • Invitation to attend or present at KTN events
    • Investor introductions (if investment is required)
    • Application support for any Innovate UK or similar competitions that are relevant
  • 04 Dec 2023 – Competition launch

    10 Jan 2024– Information session/Q&A: click here to watch the recording

    14 Feb 2024 – Deadline for applications

    Feb 2024 – Selection and notification of finalists

    Mar 2024 – Pitch day & selection of winner

    Apr 2024 – Collaboration discussions

    May 2024 – Pilot programme activated

Related Events and Recordings


Animal Care Nigeria Open Innovation Challenge Information Session and Q&A

10.00 - 11.00 GMT | Online

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