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Advisor

Bio-mass generator

  Campbell soup in Napoleon Ohio is building a bio-mass generator to supply power to their processng plant.  It wll be a 2.2 megawatt generator requiring 450 tons of scraps etc. per day to keep it running.  The article stated it plans on getting the needed fuel from it's soup plant and neighboring farms.  That;s about 22 semi loads or the equivelant every day.

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Advisor

Re: Bio-mass generator

Mike and our younger daughter got to go on tour of the Bush bean plant near Knoxville on vacation a couple of years ago.  Very progressive....

They use waste gas from beans to power the plant, and irrigate pastures with their waste processing water.  Cattle graze the pastures. 

I can't remember all the pieces of the environmental puzzle that they had implemented, but it was all very impressive, and ahead of its time compared to most companies.  Smart folks. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Bio-mass generator

When many of us regulars on this board grew up, we or our parents were involved in general farming.  That is, we'd grow some corn, some soybeans (fairly recent) some hay (at first clover and then alfalfa), some oats as a cover crop for the hay and also for horse feed and bedding, and we'd have beef cattle, some or many milk cows,  hogs, likely chickens, maybe sheep and even horses, goats, guinea fowl, geese and maybe rabbits in a hutch out back.  The farm was pretty well self-contained, and had to buy only salt, sugar, flour, canned vegetables to augment mom's huge garden coffee.  Now, we have people who raise hogs buying lad purely as a place to deposit manure.

Here, we have examples of firms recycling what would in other times have been waste or at best by-products as part of an wholistic manufacturing cycle.  If we are to compete with cheap overseas labor, this kind of smart manufacturing may be key.

We farmers may find ourselves reinventing the general family farm when the older generation that got tired of work and manure odors passes and young people with wider eyes and more flexibility return to the farm.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Bio-mass generator

I wonder if it will be a co-generational facility?  Will they be using the steam produced from the generator for production?  I would only imagine they have a pretty elaborate high pressure steam system.  Their processing inspector used to be our line inspector before she got a promotion and is now on a patrol processing assignment with them and about 4 or 5 other processing plants in Ohio.

  Its pretty cool some of the alternatives companies are doing.  Cheap natural gas is curtailing a lot of the creativity.  The big boom I see coming is the high temp heat pumps.  They keep getting closer to usable process water temps with heat pumps. 

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Advisor

Re: Bio-mass generator

General farming was very self-supporting in many respects.  It was when we got to the point of purchasing so many crop imputs that things started to go sour, I think.  Household inputs followed suti, more than leading it, I believe. 

One of my current readings is on the history of ag in American from 1929.  He does a good job of tracing the cultural side, too. 

I'd say c. WW II was when chemicals and labor shifted positions, with people leaving and not coming back, the War Machine needing a new end-user for its molecular patents.  Proliferation of regulation in the interim has actually driven a lot of the specialization in ag, and is what may make it difficult to turn back the hands of time. 

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Advisor

Re: Bio-mass generator

  Good post Jim.  My concern is will it be profitable to transport the waste to the generating site.  450 tons a day is quite a bit.  While I am not that familiar with the site as it 's about 60 miles from me, I don't think there are that many livestock operations in the area.  True, they will get a lot of the scraps from their other food operation close by but the article didn't state how much.

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Advisor

Re: Bio-mass generator

Bel I believe it said it was going to be a low pressure steam system to produce power for their food processing facility.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Bio-mass generator

Got to love reporters.  I would think it would be common to rate an electrical generating system in watts and a steam system in btu's or HP.  

  Its really cool that they are putting this thing in but it won't make much of a dent in their energy usage. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Bio-mass generator

Jim---did you guys run fat hogs behind the fat cattle and have hog pastures--seems funny when I hear the hogs next door scream in gestation crates ---all things change--better or worse I'm not sure ? ?

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