Implementation of two GHG management projects at Cargill Meat Solutions facility resulted in significant emission reductions.
Cargill’s High River meat processing wastewater facility treats approximately two million US gallons of wastewater per day. The decomposition of organic solids in the wastewater generated significant methane emissions off the surface of the anaerobic lagoon, which posed problems with local surrounding businesses and farms and with the overall greenhouse gas footprint of the operations.
In 2003, Cargill recognized the opportunity to capture the resultant biogas and installed two synthetic membrane covers to recover and redirect the biogas for combustion in the facility boilers to offset natural gas.
Later, when Alberta instituted the Specified Emitters Gas Regulation (SGER), Bluesource recognized the opportunity created by Cargill’s early adoption of this method of wastewater emissions management. Thanks to years of successful operation and diligent record keeping, Bluesource was able to quantify the reductions from the commissioning of the biogas capture system and generate offsets from 2004 – 2011 under the Alberta Emissions Offset System.
In 2012, the project applied for and received a five-year extension from the Alberta Environment. With the leadership demonstrated by Cargill combined with Bluesource’s involvement in the project, the practice was recognized for continually improving the management of the project and gas capture system and for exceeding industry standards for wastewater treatment, and the extension was granted.
For approximately than 13 years, the project has successfully generated and sold over one million tonnes of GHG emission offset credits from the reduction in venting and natural gas usage at the facility. The plant now supplies over 30 percent of its thermal energy demand from the anaerobic lagoon covers, reducing its reliance on external gas suppliers.
Later, based upon the success of the anaerobic lagoon cover, Cargill reviewed its process operations and discovered further opportunity to both generate its own energy and improve waste handling and management. They did so directly on-site through the installation of a fluidized bed boiler system.
While generating its own heat and electricity, Cargill is furthering its integration of waste management and operations, reducing reliance on grid supply, and increasing resilience against climate factors. Additionally, they’re also reducing overall emissions from substituting fossil-fuel-derived energy with their own clean and renewable energy – sourced directly from process operations.