TAR HEEL – Wastewater from the world’s largest pork processing plant in Tar Heel run by Smithfield Foods is being turned into electricity 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
The wastewater – 3 million gallons per day – is filtered, goes through a “digestion” process that creates methane. The gas is “captured” and transported to another facility 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 electricity will be generated for “more than” 2,000 homes and businesses, Smithfield Foods said.