A project hammered out between Environmental Power Corp. (EPC) and Swift will have EPC install three large anaerobic digesters at Swift's Grand Island, NE, beef processing plant. The biogas generated will be used to fuel the Swift facilities, while helping alleviate the larger problem of waste management at the same time.

This facility will represent the larger trend of waste-to-energy in the cattle and dairy sectors. An EPC spokesman says two factors, rising fuel prices and regulations regarding manure management, are converging to make anaerobic digestion profitable without the need for subsidies. In fact, EPC claims to be the only company in the U.S. currently generating gas from cow manure on a commercial scale. EPC is cutting deals with dairy and cattle operations across the country, especially in California and Texas.
-- Clint Peck