BioStar Systems to construct AD plant in Missouri

By Katie Fletcher | May 30, 2014

This fall, BioStar Systems LLC will begin construction of a biogas production facility in Pettis County, Mo. The project is designed to use anaerobic digestion (AD) and an integrated series of conventional wastewater treatment technologies to convert 73,000 tons of poultry manure per year from Rose Acre Farms’ Johnson County Egg Farm into renewable energy and premium pathogen-free, organic fertilizer.

The company plans to produce more than energy and fertilizer with the facility. “Clean water is a by-product of the process and will be returned to the farm,” said Dennis Crabtree, BioStar Systems co-founder and chief technology officer. “The project will also generate 16,000 tons of Gold Standard carbon credits per year.”

The proposed facility plans to utilize the farm’s existing manure collection infrastructure to deliver feedstock to a continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) AD system. The biogas produced from the digestion process is conditioned and used to fuel a 1.6 MW combined-heat-and-power (CHP) set.

“The CHP is expected to generate 10.8 million kWh of electricity and a similar amount of recovered heat energy,” said Crabtree. “The recovered heat will be used onsite and the electricity will be shared between the project and the egg farm.”

The digestate produced from the AD process is treated by BioStar’s patent-pending nutrient recovery system (NRS), which produces granulated organic fertilizer, liquid organic soil conditioner, and SuperSix 6-0-5, a liquid organic fertilizer with the highest ammonium nitrogen content available in the market today. SuperSix 6-0-5 meets the USDA National Organic Program requirements for production of Tier 1 fruits and vegetables. Crops in this tier include food like lettuce and spinach that go directly from the field to your dinner table.

Beyond meeting USDA program requirements the facility will take on 23 full-time employees for the facility’s operation and create 80 to 100 jobs during project construction, according to Crabtree. The state profits from job creation, and the project benefits from a strategic incentive package offered from the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Pettis County created an Enhanced Enterprise Zone that provides property tax relief and has committed to significant road improvements, and the state offers an investment tax credit and an employee benefits tax rebate with the package.

BioStar Systems is an outgrowth of an integrated waste management system developed by Crabtree. The facility will be owned and operated by a special purpose entity, JCEF BioStar LLC.