To complement our existing compost operations, Bioenergy Devco (BDC) is constructing a state-of-the-art anaerobic digester using BTS technology. The combined compost and AD operation will be dedicated to minimizing environmental impact of excess organics created by the poultry industry and enriching the land, while creating new opportunities for farmers around the Delmarva peninsula.
The addition of an anaerobic digestion system will enhance the facility’s outputs to include renewable energy and digestate that can be used as a soil amendment.
WHAT IS ANAEROBIC DIGESTION?
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a safe and common process that uses microbes to break down organic materials into important and valuable end-products – renewable energy and an organic soil amendment. This widely adopted technology is used worldwide, with approximately 50 million ADs in operation across the globe, ranging from small backyard digesters to large digesters common at wastewater treatment sites, farms, and food processing facilities. The AD facility being developed at BIC, while innovative, is hardly a new or untested technology.
Here is how the process works:
WHY ANAEROBIC DIGESTION?
The Delmarva peninsula and the residents of Sussex County have faced many challenges related to organics management. AD provides much needed alternatives to land application and landfilling of organic materials. Traditionally, much of this material has been spread on farmland; however, the long term environmental and community impacts of this practice make it necessary to explore new approaches.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?
An Alternative to Land Application
Residents of Sussex County are too familiar with the unpleasant, pervasive smell of land application. Instead of those materials being spread, sprayed, or injected into farm soil, they will be transported to the Bioenergy Innovation Center and recycled in an enclosed, contained system.
Enhanced Air Quality
The facility is designed to help minimize carbon-intensive disposal practices like landfills and land application in Sussex County, which release polluting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and damage the air that we breathe. Transitioning away from polluting forms of organics disposal will yield immediate tangible impacts on the environmental health of Delaware’s communities – particularly those that have been most underserved.
Safe Water Quality
BDC’s fully enclosed anaerobic digesters eliminate groundwater pollution often caused by excessive land application of nutrients and landfill operations, minimizing excessive nutrient runoff that can poison ecosystems and cause significant human health issues. The facility does not require the use of fresh water for processing incoming materials.
Economic Development Opportunities
The Bioenergy Innovation Center will expand its existing workforce, where in addition to the equipment operators, mechanics, and administrative staff that are currently employed, BDC will look to employ environmental technicians and microbiologists.
Healthy and Safe Living
As a company, BDC welcomes the opportunity to build relationships with communities and we are committed to understanding community benefit priorities that address issues from jobs, local hiring, environmental justice as well as any and all anticipated operating challenges to guarantee the benefits of anaerobic digestion are felt in the communities in which our facilities are located. BDC has made many strategic design considerations, taking into account the need for thorough odor control, traffic considerations, noise, dust control, safety, and much more.