TECH FLASH

Biogas project to demonstrate model of sustainability

A renewable, clean energy source will be created from the raw nutrients of livestock waste.The project is projected to cost $100 million.

January 24, 2014
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Murphy-Brown of Missouri, LLC (MBM) and Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC announced joint plans to develop a $100 million biogas project in northern Missouri. Murphy-Brown, the livestock subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., will provide the hog manure for the project. Installation of pumps, pipelines and other processing equipment is set to begin in the spring.

The decomposition of organic matter without the presence of oxygen creates biogas, also called renewable natural gas. To harvest the gas, impermeable synthetic covers will be placed on nutrient treatment lagoons. The raw nutrients of livestock waste will be delivered to the lagoons with barn scraper technology.

Biogas harvested and commercialized from the lagoons by alternative fuel equipment will be utilized as a renewable, green energy source. Roeslein developed state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion technology for the project.

“Environmental benefits from this project will be significant,” says Rudi Roeslein, president of Roeslein Alternative Energy and CEO of Roeslein & Associates.

“Utilizing proven anaerobic digestion technology, we expect to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions, shrink MBM’s carbon footprint and eliminate rainfall effects on treatment systems, all while capturing a valuable and renewable biogas energy resource.” The anaerobic digesters will be built by Roeslein & Associates’ wholly owned subsidiary Roeslein Manufacturing.

“All of us at Smithfield Foods are tremendously proud of the many people at Murphy-Brown and Roeslein Alternative Energy who have already worked very hard on this project, and we’re looking forward to the day when Missouri residents will benefit from this innovative source of biogas energy,” says Dennis H. Treacy, chief sustainability officer at Smithfield.

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