Combustion technology helps convert animal waste to energy

January 8, 2016 0 By Amanda Giasson

Two alternative energy companies have partnered with Smithfield Foods to produce renewable energy from pig manure.

According to a recent press release, Roeslein Alternative Energy, St. Louis and Georgia-based ABUTEC (an acronym for Advanced Burner Technologies), have teamed up with Smithfield Foods Missouri for a waste to energy project that will involve converting the excessive amount of manure, which is produced from the nearly 2 million pigs that are housed there, into renewable energy. This will be achieved by trapping the biogas released from Smithfield’s manure lagoons and storing it for energy production.

There is enough manure to produce over 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

The almost 2 million pigs located at Smithfield Foods Missouri are housed throughout nine facilities. The animals create enough manure to produce 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas. In order to create pipeline-quality natural gas, Roeslein is utilizing a pressure swing absorption (PSA) gas conditioning system from Guild Associates Inc., to remove the impurities from the biogas.

According to ABUTEC, in the event that the PSA systems are down due to maintenance or too much biogas is produced, its custom-made 1.5 megawatt (MW) enclosed combustor will burn off the white gas with more than 98% destruction efficiency, enabling Roeslein to continue operation and production. A total of 88 of ABUTEC’s combustor units will be manufactured and installed, one for each of the manure lagoons.Waste to Energy - Image of Pigs

The waste to energy project will also earn Smithfield Foods carbon credits.

The combined technology of Roeslein and ABUTEC, will earn Smithfield Foods carbon credits for its environmental sustainability commitment. According to a news article from Renewable Energy From Waste, this type of carbon credit or offset is a type of compensation that represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide eliminated or decreased from the atmosphere by a project that reduces emissions.

The $120 million waste to energy project in Missouri is more than 50% completed. The renewable energy project is expected to be up and running by the middle of this year. Duke Energy in North Carolina has agreed to purchase a portion of the natural gas that will be produced. Duke Energy is a sustainable electric and gas company and is the largest electric power holding company in America.