News by Topic

Click on a topic below to see the latest headline

Customize "My Headlines" by Topic

Choose the topics of most interest to you to follow under "My Headlines".

Subscribe

Sign up for newsletters, news feeds, social media and other news sources.

Resources for News Media

Are you a reporter working on a story? Here's where you find help from Duke.

Hog Waste Project Earns State Awards

Hog Waste Project Earns State Awards

System produces electricity and carbon offsets

print |
The Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative's project at Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkinville installed a new synthetically lined and covered anaerobic digester that captures methanegenerated from hog waste, reduces air and water pollution and generates renewable electricity. The digester replaces the existing open-air hog waste lagoon at right. Photo courtesy of Tatjana Vujic.

Durham, NC - Duke, along with other partners, has been recognized by two state organizations for its commitment to trend-setting sustainability practices.

The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association recently announced Duke, Google, Loyd Ray Farms and Duke Energy as the recipients of the 2012 Award for Business Innovation. The award highlights projects that promote clean energy in the state. At Loyd Ray Farms, Duke and its partners helped establish a waste-to-energy system that converts hog waste into electricity and creates carbon offset credits.

The state chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies has also recognized the project, awarding the Henry A. Stikes Grand Conceptor award to the engineering firm that worked with Duke on the hog farm project.

"It's really gratifying to be recognized by those working in engineering and sustainable energy," said Tatjana Vujic, director of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative. "It validates the significance of the system, what it's accomplishing and its potential to change how waste is managed in the state. The system represents a crucial step in terms of finding clean technological solutions to renewable energy needs that also deal with climate issues."

By capturing greenhouse gases from hog waste and burning them to run a turbine, the waste-to-energy system prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to nearly 5,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, which is like taking 900 cars off the road. Energy produced by the system also creates as many as 500 megawatt hours a year, enough energy to power almost 7,000 homes continuously for one day. The system meets strong environmental performance standards that outshine current waste management practices, Vujic said.

The waste-to-energy system has been running since May 2011 at Loyd Ray Farms, a 9,000-head hog finishing operation northwest of Yadkinville, N.C. It is intended to serve as a model for other hog farms seeking to manage waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and develop on-farm renewable power. When fully operational, the system provides enough electricity to power itself as well as five of nine barns at Loyd Ray Farms.

As part of receiving the American Council of Engineering Companies award, Vujic said the waste-to-energy system will continually be recognized throughout 2013 on the organization's website and other materials. It will also be placed in the running for a national award from the council.

"These awards help raise the profile of this project and the effort to harness energy from home-grown sources, proving their value to the North Carolina community," Vujic said. "We hope it acts as a model to help solve pollution issues associated with swine operations while showing new ways to generate renewable energy and control greenhouse gas emissions."

We encourage Duke faculty, staff and students to share ideas, collaborate and discuss issues on Duke Today. To post a comment, you must log-in with your Duke NetID and password. Any comments or materials that are inappropriate, disrespectful or violate Duke policies will be deleted. These may include statements or materials that:

  • promote commercial enterprises;
  • sell, or solicit offers to sell, goods or services for personal gain;
  • promote a political candidate or political party; or
  • violate policies regarding personal, proprietary or protected health information.

For more information, visit our guidelines for posting content.

Comments

You are not logged in. Please log in to leave a comment. Comments are restricted to faculty, staff, and students.

© 2014 Office of Communication Services
705 Broad Street, Box 90496, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 681-4533; FAX: (919) 681-7926

Submit A Story Idea

We value your suggestions and feedback. Got an idea for a story, video or photo you would like to see in Duke Today?

Submit a Story Idea