Smithfield Foods Builds Biodiesel Facility

Smithfield, VA— Smithfield Foods, Inc. will invest $20 million to build a facility that converts swine waste into biodiesel vehicle fuel. Smithfield will be the major partner in BEST BioFuel, LLC, a partnership that will construct the project at Smithfield-owned swine production facilities near Milford, Utah.

"Livestock waste can be a source of clean, renewable vehicle fuel," said Robert F. Urell, Smithfield senior vice president, engineering and environmental affairs.

The facility will be constructed at Circle Four Farms, a state-of-the-art operation located in southwest Utah. The Beaver County Planning & Zoning Board recommended approval of a conditional use permit at a meeting February 19. Construction is scheduled to start in April, pending final approval of the conditional use permit and a permit from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and the facility could start producing fuels as early as October.

The project will involve the construction of a collection system to pump waste to a central processing facility where it will be concentrated. The concentrated liquid is then introduced into a second facility that produces biogas, which is then piped to an enclosed plant where thermo-catalytic processes convert it into biomethanol.

The biomethanol will be transported to a plant outside of Utah for processing into biodiesel utilizing oils, such as soybean oil, animal fat or used cooking oil. The result is a clean burning, renewable fuel that also has been shown to extend the life of diesel engines due to improved lubricating action.

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