Missouri project to turn hog waste into energy

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2014 at 1:04 pm •  Published: January 8, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Developers of a renewable biogas project in remote north-central Missouri are hoping to turn hog manure into energy.

Murphy-Brown of Missouri LLC is teaming up with Roeslein Alternative Energy LLC on the project near Princeton, Mo., a small town in one of the most sparsely populated areas of the state. Plans, announced Wednesday, call for construction of the $100 million project to begin in April.

Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, is the world's largest pork producer. All those hogs create plenty of waste that developers say can be turned into a renewable energy source. The project will also help eliminate some of the waste odor, they said, which frequently draws complaints from those living near corporate hog farms.

"Not only does it demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the environment and to our neighbors, but it also allows us to make facility upgrades that are good for our employees, our animals and the continuous improvement of our business in northern Missouri," Murphy-Brown of Missouri General Manager Michael Rainwater said in a statement.

Murphy-Brown operates hog farms in 12 states. It is already among the biggest employers in north-central Missouri, with about 1,100 workers. The company did not say how many additional jobs could be created by the biogas project.

Biogas, also called renewable natural gas, is created when organic matter decomposes without oxygen present. Developers of the project will harvest biogas from Murphy-Brown finishing farms, using technology developed and installed by Roeslein Alternative Energy.

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