Written by OK Energy Today
A Missouri-based renewable energy company says it hopes to have operational by 2016 a Renewable Natural Gas system using manure from hog farms in the Midwest. Roeslein Alternative Energy made the announcement this week at Ruckman Farm, one of the nine Smithfield Foods Missouri hog production facilities involved in the largest livestock manure project of its kind.
“The technology we have developed is ready to be deployed commercially in a project that makes both economic sense and environmental sense,” said Rudi Roeslein, founder and President of Roeslein Alternative Energy. “This is not just about converting the manure from almost two million pigs into renewable energy. It’s about taking environmental sustainability to a new level.”
Phase One of the system is nearly 50 percent complete and involves the installation of impermeable covers and flare systems on the 88 existing manure lagoons at the Smithfield Foods hog finishing farms in Northern Missouri. The covers will reduce greenhouse gases by preventing the escape of methane to the atmosphere.
Phase two will involve fabricating and installing technology to purify the biogas captured by the covers and developing an inter-connection to a natural gas pipeline operated by ANR. The Renewable Natural Gas system is expected to be online by the summer of 2016.
The hog manure from the project will produce nearly 2.2 billion cubic feet of pipeline quality RNG or the equivalent of 17 million gallons of diesel fuel a year. An estimated $120 million in new work for Missouri is also being created by the project.
Roeslein Alternative Energy intends to supplement the hog manure feedstock with biomass harvested from restored prairie grasslands to produce additional RNG.
“We are developing a mixture of grasses and native species that provide ecological services, wildlife habitat and biomass that will be co-digested with manure,” said Roeslein. “We hope to demonstrate the concept on a small scale at Ruckman, move it to other farms and then hopefully across the Midwest.”
The 64-year old Roeslein launched his company in 1990 and now has more than 200 employees and expects to reach $120 million in revenue this year.