Sustainability Problem: People surrounding swine industries have lived for many years under the externalities of odors and water contamination because of the bad practices in manure treatment.
Each “pound” or “kilogram” of manure coming from pigs or cows has an interesting potential to generate energy for lighting, transporting, and heating/cooling. In the City of Santiago (Chile), 1,6 million of swines live in factories for supplying meat for the country as well as for exporting. The 1,600,000 swines, considering sizes and manure production, were estimated as an equivalent 16 MW of energy generation, considering 9 MW for thermal energy (heat), and 7 MW of electricity generation. Today, the swine industry understood that revenues coming from energy sales are extremely relevant to their business models, therefore, instead of expending money in manure treatment, they started to install “biodigester + Generators”. However, one big concern came up, there was a byproduct called “digestate”. The digestate is a highly nutritive product for agriculture. If well managed, it can be used as a fertilizer. Bang! Now the swine industry, after many years, realized that all the externalities (odors) created to people living around the swine industry, can be turned into an opportunity.
The model of the circular economy can be summarized as follows. First, the swine industry sale meat. In addition, they take the manure and put it in the biodigesters, which generate electricity and heat (a new revenue), but also create digestate.
The digestate is treated and then provided (sometimes for free) for farmers cooperative in the area as a fertilizer. The farmers install pipelines to transport the digestate (sometimes swine industry contribute in the investment), and farmers production improve considerably because of the “natural” fertilizer. In conclusion, farmers reduce cost by not buying fertilizer and also increase revenues by creating additional value for their products.
3 steps for deploying the technology.
1.- Estimate energy potential identify the stakeholders involved in the ecosystem of the swine industry.
2.- Explains the benefit of using a biodigestor and a fertilizer pipeline. COnvince a venture capital or an investment fund to cover your expenses! Today the energy business in Latin America is pretty reliable!
3.- Install the technology, bring some cool operator from Europe or train people from your country, and start producing energy, reducing cost, providing fertilizer to farmers, and creating a cleaner city for all the neighborhood around the industry!
By Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642) Week 2.