Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion turning methane into energy
Nobelhurst Farms in Pavilion runs enough cows to produce 5,000 gallons of milk a day. That many cows also produce a heck of a lot of manure.
Manure means methane and methane can be a pollutant, or it can be a source of power generation.
At Noblehurst, reports the D&C, the manure is being fed into a contraption that turns the methane into electricity.
Over the years, Noblehurst has had to work out some bugs with its digester, but now it is running smoothly and pumping out about 788,400 kilowatt-hours of power a year. On a typical day, manure is moved from 1,700 dairy cows toward the center of the main barn, where it is pushed into underground tubes that feed into a 28,000-gallon pit. The manure is mixed with effluent and pumped into a large digester tank. At the top of the tank, gas accumulates and powers a generator that produces electricity and gives off water and carbon dioxide. Every half hour or so, new manure feeds bacteria that produce the gas. A spout releases gas if too much pressure accumulates.
"That way we don't have a mess," said farm president John Noble.
Nationaly, about 100 suggest manure-to-electricity machines are in use, and 17 or so in New York. Noblehurst received a $250,000 state grant to help pay for the $1 million machine.