Bioenergy DevCo (BDC), a global developer of anaerobic digestion facilities that create renewable energy and healthy soil products from organic material, announced Nov. 21 that it has entered a 20-year partnership with Perdue Farms for the supply of organic material from Perdue processing facilities as well as the purchase and management of the Perdue AgriRecycle organic soil composting facility located near Seaford, Del.
“Our commitment to environmental stewardship is stronger than ever. We see this partnership as an opportunity to further expand on the work we’ve done so far,” Perdue Farms chief executive officer Randy Day said. “With Bioenergy, we have found a partner that enables us to be more sustainable, create cost savings and help produce renewable energy while continuing to address soil health and nutrient management in the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay watershed.”
The AgriRecycle facility is currently permitted to compost 30,000 tons of poultry processing and hatchery byproducts from poultry operations and poultry litter from poultry farms located on the Delmarva Peninsula, the announcement said.
Under the terms of the agreement with Perdue Farms, BDC will purchase the existing composting facility and operate it while working within the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control and Sussex County, Del., permitting processes to construct an anaerobic digester at the site. The anaerobic digestion process will transition the poultry processing byproducts to both renewable natural gas and an organic soil amendment while continuing to support the compost facility, BDC said.
“Our mission is to make sure anaerobic digestion becomes the de facto solution for managing organic material in the United States, and the Perdue AgriRecycle facility, which is already composting at a large scale, is the perfect venue to showcase the potential for this technology,” BDC founder and CEO Shawn Kreloff said. “The use of anaerobic digestion, combined with enhanced composting of organic material, reinforces Perdue’s ongoing commitment to driving economic development in the region and adopting innovative solutions that are good for the environment and the bottom line.”
The proposed anaerobic digestion facility will be capable of processing a range of organic material from local poultry farmers and processors, including dissolved air flotation (DAF), hatchery byproducts and poultry litter, the announcement said. In addition to the production of renewable natural gas, the anaerobic digestion process creates a virtually odor-free digestate -- a natural soil amendment considered a Class A compost that will be used to enhance the site’s existing compost production.
“We believe the relationship between Perdue and BDC offers a large-scale opportunity to create a truly consistent source of clean, renewable natural gas in a sustainable way that will benefit the industry and the environment for years to come,” Kreloff said. “The ability to finance, design, build and operate a facility like AgriRecycle that includes both [anaerobic digestion] and compost options for managing organic material makes BDC an essential asset not only to Perdue but the poultry industry and the communities on Delmarva where it does business.”
Anaerobic digestion offers an alternative to traditional methods of waste management that release harmful greenhouse gasses or pollute natural environments, the announcement said. BDC, along with existing investor Sagewind Capital and new investing group Newlight Partners, brings to the table a proven and unique anaerobic digestion technology with a 20-year track record of global success.
Anaerobic digesters use a natural process driven by microorganisms to biodegrade organic materials in a closed system, which naturally transforms organics to create truly renewable natural gas as well as an organic soil amendment digestate high in nutrients.
BDC said it works with municipalities and companies with large volumes of organic material, such as industrial agricultural producers, to help them efficiently, cleanly and affordably dispose of those materials while producing renewable energy and healthier soils.
BDC is a leader in the finance, design, construction, engineering and operation of anaerobic digestion facilities. Through its wholly owned subsidiary BTS Biogas, BDC can ensure and guarantee the performance of its more than 220 facilities worldwide. Based in Howard County, Md., BDC is currently developing four facilities in the U.S.
Perdue Farms is a fourth-generation, family-owned U.S. food and agricultural company.