The technology involves microbes, not combustion — essentially applying the process that happens inside a cow’s stomach on a much larger scale, with energy and environmental benefits at the end. Bioenergy Devco along with its subsidiary, BTS, have built 250 similar facilities around the globe and operates 140 of them.
See the presentation made to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources
WHAT IS ANAEROBIC DIGESTION?
Anaerobic digestion is a safe and natural process that uses microbes to break down organic materials into important and valuable end-products – renewable energy and an organic soil addition. This widely adopted technology is used worldwide, with about 50 million digesters in operation across the globe, ranging from small backyard digesters to large digesters common at wastewater treatment sites, farms, and food processing facilities. The digester being developed at the BIC, while innovative, is hardly a new or untested technology.
Here is how the general process works:
WHY ANAEROBIC DIGESTION?
The Delmarva Peninsula and Sussex County residents have faced many challenges from organics management. Anaerobic digestion provides a much-needed alternative to land application and landfilling of organic materials. Traditionally, much of this material has been spread on farmland. The long-term environmental and community effects of this practice, however, make it necessary to explore new methods.
BENEFITS FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Safe water quality
BDC’s fully enclosed anaerobic digesters eliminate the groundwater pollution often caused by excessive land application and landfill operations, minimizing runoff that can poison ecosystems and cause significant human health problems. The facility does not require fresh water to process materials.
An alternative to land application
Residents of Sussex County are well familiar with the unpleasant, pervasive smell associated with land application. Instead of those materials being spread or sprayed on, injected into, farm soil, they will be taken to the Bioenergy Innovation Center and recycled in an enclosed system.
The Bioenergy Innovation Center will expand its workforce. In addition to the equipment operators, floor operators, mechanics, and administrative staff employed there now, we will hire environmental technicians and microbiologists once the work is expanded.
Better air quality
In Sussex County, the facility is designed to minimize carbon-intensive disposal methods, such as landfills and land application, which release polluting greenhouse gases and damage the air we breathe. Shifting away from polluting forms of organics disposal will yield immediate tangible results for the environmental health of Delaware’s communities ¬– particularly those that have been most underserved historically.
Healthful and safe living
BDC welcomes the opportunity to build relationships with communities. We are committed to understanding community priorities that address jobs, local hiring, environmental justice, and other challenges to guarantee that the communities in which we operate enjoy the benefits of anaerobic digestion. BDC has implemented many design features relating to odor and dust control, traffic concerns, noise, safety, and much more.
BY THE NUMBERS
A typical anaerobic digestion project such as the BIC can:
Visit our virtual media room to watch tour videos, view informational materials, meet our team, and more.
Divert 114,185 tons of organic residuals from landfills
Provide renewable energy equal to the annual electricity use of 7,504 houses
Reduce carbon emissions in an amount equal to permanently removing 7,808 cars from the road
Create the same carbon sequestration impact as a forested area 56 times the size of Central Park
GET IN TOUCH
Bioenergy Devco and the Bioenergy Innovation Center welcome the opportunity to meet with our neighbors and show how our anaerobic digestion facilities will bring a more sustainable approach to processing regional organics and generating renewable energy – all while improving soil, water, and air quality. We have already met with many residents and community leaders, led tours of our current composting facility, and answered many questions.