In Middleton, Wisconsin, manure is being used to make natural gas.
Waste from more than 4,000 cows is processed in a biodigester. That breaks it down into solids that can be used for fertilizer, water, and methane.
“We run that through a further cleaning process to make renewable natural gas,” says Steve Nieland of EnTech Solutions.
He says this product can help reduce the use of natural gas from fossil fuels. And it uses climate-warming methane that would otherwise be released directly to the atmosphere as the manure decomposed.
And to further reduce climate emissions, the company is working to ensure that the process itself is powered by clean energy.
“Our electricity at the site comes from renewables, so we have about two-and-a-half megawatts worth of solar,” Nieland says.
Soon, EnTech plans to use electric trucks to haul the gas. The company has installed a fast EV charger. And it recently worked with truck manufacturer Peterbilt to test an electric truck.
Nieland says it’s important to pursue projects like this that help reduce carbon emissions from energy production.
“One, it’s the right thing to do,” he says. “But two, we see that this is where markets are going to go to because people are saying, ‘We want green energy.’”
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media