ADI Systems Helps Furmano’s Create Energy from Food Waste

Location: Northumberland, Pennsylvania, USA • Sector: Food & Beverage

The Client:
Furmano Foods Inc. is the Susquehanna River Valley’s premier grower and producer of beans, tomatoes, and vegetables. Since 1921, the family-owned company has been combining agricultural and manufacturing technology with environmentally friendly farming techniques to produce wholesome canned and pouched foods.

The Client’s Needs:
Furmano’s production plant in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, USA, processes millions of cases of tomatoes, beans, salads, vegetables, and peppers each year, which results in large quantities of wastewater. Wastewater flow and strength, however, vary considerably throughout the year.

Due to increased production at the plant, Furmano Foods’ on-site wastewater treatment system required upgrading and expansion. It was important for the company to find a wastewater treatment solution that would be able to accommodate fluctuations in load, yet maintain consistent performance. Additionally, in keeping with its environmental awareness, Furmano’s was interested in recovering green energy from its wastewater.

The Solution:
ADI Systems was awarded a design/build contract to provide an anaerobic pretreatment system for digestion of organic wastes at Furmano’s production facility. A generator to produce electricity from the biogas was also provided.

The anaerobic wastewater treatment system consists of a 7.5 million gallon (28,390 m³) ADI-BVF® reactor, complete with internal influent/effluent distribution piping; a mixer; biogas collection/handling; and a sophisticated yet easy-to-use graphics-based computerized monitoring and controls system. The treatment plant is designed to treat a peak flow of 1.06 mgd (4,013 m³/d) with COD/BOD concentrations of 5,800/3,400 mg/l.

Biogas is collected and fed into a 250 kW gen-set with gas drying and scrubbing capabilities. This generator converts biogas into electricity for Furmano’s on-site use and exports excess power to the grid. During periods of peak biogas production, excess biogas is burned in a high-efficiency enclosed flare.

The Results:
The care and dedication with which Furmano Foods’ products are processed grows with each generation. The wastewater treatment upgrade is an example of the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship; wastewater at Furmano’s production facility now achieves better than 85 percent COD and 90 percent BOD reduction.

The solution ADI Systems designed and installed for Furmano’s is also helping the company maximize biogas utilization from anaerobic digestion. A heat recovery system on the genset is used to heat the reactor, saving Furmano’s money on heating costs.