Through methane generation, manure is being turned into electricity in a joint project at a hog farm in Utah.

Murphy-Brown LLC's Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners, LLC are producing electricity via two methane digesters that Alpental put into operation in November 2012 at the Circle 4 facility just outside Milford. Murphy-Brown is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Learn more about the Circle 4 facility in the story, "Utah Finishing Farm is Environmental Steward Winner." 

The two methane digesters are operational and are producing renewable energy.

In 2012, Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners entered into a strategic partnership to take hog manure from Circle 4 Farms and convert it into electrical energy, which will be placed on the power grid to provide electricity for residential and commercial customers in Utah.

“Murphy-Brown is excited to be the engine driving this latest form of renewable energy that will allow citizens to turn on the lights in their Utah homes, while at the same time protecting the environment from greenhouse gases such as methane,” says Jim Webb, director of environmental and public affairs for Circle 4 Farms.

“On a personal level, our Milford project is very gratifying for all of us at Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown and Circle 4 Farms. Anyone who has observed our actions during the past decade is familiar with our commitment to sustainability,” Webb says.

 

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“We are committed to reducing our impact on the land, water and air resources that we use in our operations,” he adds.

“All of us at Smithfield Foods are tremendously proud of all the people at Murphy-Brown, Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners, who have worked very hard to provide renewable energy for Utah's residents,” says Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield's chief sustainability officer.

Webb explains that the two methane digesters installed at Milford convert some of Circle 4's hog manure to energy, providing enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes and businesses. The manure-to-energy project has had a significant impact on Circle 4's lagoons. That's because converting manure to energy means that solid waste will be reduced, which is stored in lagoons at the farms, which greatly changes the dynamics of lagoons for the hog operations involved in this project.

“It's a pleasure to be part of this special project. We are thrilled about our partnership with Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown and Circle 4 Farms, and we are looking forward to getting this project fully ramped up and to provide another source of electricity for the citizens of Utah,” says Brady Olson, vice president of Alpental Energy Partners.

“We're proud to be working with an organization like Smithfield Foods that is making good on its commitment to renewable energy and effective waste management,” says Paul Stephan, managing partner of Alpental Energy Partners.

Alpental is the principal funder of this project. Funding for these projects is not being provided by Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown or Circle 4 Farms.

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