N-Viro moves forward on Michigan, Florida projects

By Ron Kotrba
Web exclusive posted Dec. 17, 2008, at 4:51 p.m. CST

Michigan State University's Board of Trustees has approved moving forward with plans to build a biofuel processing facility that will manufacture N-Viro International Corp.'s fuel.

On Dec. 16, N-Viro announced that the university's trustees have approved planning and designing a facility adjacent to MSU's T.B. Simon Power Plant. "Subject to approval of a definitive agreement between MSU and N-Viro by the MSU Board of Trustees, this facility will manufacture N-Viro Fuel," N-Viro stated.

"N-Viro Fuel" is the company's trademarked name for a patented biomass fuel that contains physical and chemical characteristics similar to coal, but is made from municipal biosolids and other organic wastes, like manure and pulp and paper sludge.

Timothy Kasmoch, president and chief executive officer of N-Viro, told Biomass Magazine the ongoing project with MSU began in early 2007, when N-Viro conducted a test demonstration at the MSU power plant. He wouldn't disclose his company's proprietary process. "It's a process that turns municipal biosolids into a renewable alternative energy," he said. "We tested it at MSU, and it was successful, so now we're in negotiations and development to construct a fuel facility in conjunction with the university. So today's announcement was another step in that process."

The project would be part of MSU's goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. According to N-Viro, once its biomass treatment plant is fully operational on campus, it expects carbon dioxide emissions from the T.B. Simon Power Plant to be reduced by a minimum of 3 percent.

"It is expected that the definitive agreement with N-Viro and authorization to proceed with construction will be taken up by the MSU Board of Trustees in early spring 2009," the company stated.

In related news, N-Viro announced Dec. 10 that it had received a second purchase order from the Tohopekaliga Water Authority in Daytona Beach, Fla., an extension of an original agreement reached in June. The TWA operates 10 wastewater treatment facilities in Osceola County, Fla., which produce significant amounts of sludge. N-Viro subsidiaries, Florida N-Viro LP and Bio Mineral Transportation LLC, transport the biosolids from TWA to N-Viro's facility in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the sewer sludge is treated, stabilized and pasteurized to make N-Viro Soil, which Kasmoch described as a safe, alternative soil amendment that can also be used as landfill cover. Including TWA, N-Viro's Daytona Beach facility services 12 municipalities and processes approximately 350 tons of biosolids per day. The capacity of the processing plant is approximately 700 tons per day.