By Electric Energy Online

St. Louis-based Roeslein Alternative Energy says it is providing the Smithfield Hog Production division of Smithfield Foods with a large-scale manure-to-energy system that will create biogas derived from hog manure lagoons.

Roeslein and Smithfield are co-hosting an open house event on Aug. 24, 2016, to display what it calls “renewable natural gas (RNG) [that will be] produced from the largest livestock manure-to-energy project of its kind” that “will soon be delivering RNG into the national pipeline.”

The $120 million project is being installed at several Smithfield Hog Production operations, including one near the town of Albany in northern Missouri, which will host the open house. The project’s focus is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, produce RNG, eliminate rainfall effects of treatment systems and generate additional jobs for the surrounding community, says Roeslein.

Roeslein says impermeable synthetic covers are now installed on 41 of the 88 existing manure lagoons at nine Smithfield farms in Northern Missouri. The covers are designed to capture methane and turn the lagoons into anaerobic digesters where, as an interim step, the resulting biogas has been flared.

Phase II of the project has involved installation of equipment to remove impurities from the biogas to create what Roeslein calls pipeline-quality RNG. As of July 1, RNG from the anaerobic digestion of hog manure has been injected into the national pipeline using an interconnect that was installed at Ruckman Farm. Duke Energy in North Carolina has agreed to purchase a portion of the RNG to help it meet clean energy requirements for power generation, according to Roeslein.

When the project is finished, “several hundred million cubic feet of RNG will be available for similar transmission each year,” adds the company.

Roeslein Alternative Energy describes itself as the operator and developer of energy production facilities that convert agricultural and industrial wastes, along with renewable biomass feedstocks, to renewable natural gas and sustainable co-products. The company was launched in 2012 by Rudi Roeslein, co-founder and CEO of St. Louis-based Roeslein and Associates Inc., an industrial plant engineering, modular fabrication and construction company.

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company that describes itself as the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. The company says it is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. The company’s sustainability-related measures have been summed up in a recently released report.