Wastewater from the world’s largest pork prodcessing plant in Tar Heel run by Smithfield Foods is being turned into electricty after first being used to create natural gas in a partnership with Duke Energy and Raleigh-based OptimaBio.
This is the second such project by Duke Energy, the first being the Optima KV project involving several farms in Duplin County
At the cost of $14 million, Smithfield Foods and partners provided a graphic (below) that explains the conversion process:
The wastewater – 3 million gallaons per day – is filtered, goes through a “digestion” process that creates methane. The gast is “captured” and transportated to another facilitiy where it is converted into what the partners describe as “pipeline-quality RNG” (reusable natural gas). After refining, the RNG is delivered to Duke Energy for use in electricity generation.
Enough electricty will be generated for “more than” 2,000 homes and businesses, Smithfield Foods said.