Duke University

Yesterday on Inside Agriculture we heard from Tanja Vuich, Director of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative at Duke University on their study on turning hog waste into electricity to meet the North Carolina Renewable Fuels mandate. The study farm is in Yadkin County, and many things were learned says Vuich:

“On our project we do use the electricity to power the operation. At our farm we are meeting environmental performance standards for a new and expanding farm. That was a goal of ours. We have enough electricity to power our operation as well as five of the farmers nine swine houses.”

Another beneficial aspect the study came across, according to Vujic is that using this system could open up more farm land for food production:

“Our goal at the Yadkin farm was to meet the environmental performance standards, and that will clean up the waste water so that there wont be a restriction on what the farmer can plant in the fields. So in the future he might plant a food crop.”

Vujic explains that the Yadkin County study is ongoing with more goals in mind beyond the preliminary findings:

“We are continuing to evaluate the system we have in Yadkin County and understand how the components work. We are trying to refine it and bring the cost down. We hope to make it much more economical to do waste to energy on more farms across the state, not just those that are in high density areas.”

Vujic concludes with these thoughts:

“We set out to provide an informed strategy on how to meet this swine waste to energy goal and this is a good first and big step in that direction.”

Director of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative at Duke University, Tanja Vuich.

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