Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Smithfield touts pigpoop power project

Smithfield Foods is building a $120-million hog-manure methane-digestion plant in Missouri.

It claims the plant is the largest of its kind and will be ready to produce energy next year.

Roeslein Alternative Energy said the first phase is half done and it’s on schedule to install impermeable covers and flare systems on 88 manure lagoons at the Smithfield facility in Albany, Mo.

The covers prevent methane gas from entering the atmosphere and reduce odour plus they keep rain out of the lagoons.

The second phase will involve installing technology to purify the biogas under the covers and developing a natural gas pipeline designed to open next year.

The project will process manure from two million pigs and is supposed to eventually generate about 2.2 million cubic feet of pipeline-quality natural gas, or the equivalent of 17 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

The project also is expected to prevent about 850,000 tons of methane from reaching the atmosphere.

The developers believe the project has applications for farms across the United States and for use in developing countries that are looking for better ways to sustainably manage natural resources and energy production.