Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 28, 2013

Culver Duck factory turns waste into energy

MIDDLEBURY — When it comes to renewable energy, Culver Duck of Middlebury has, well — all its ducks in a row.

Beginning with a 10-acre wetlands project in 2011, the duck-processing company has embarked on a $6 million journey to become a zero discharge plant by utilizing duck waste to generate methane gas to power the plant.

In March of 2012 construction began on a 930,000-gallon digester, 58,000-gallon reception pit, control room, pump room, separator and biofiber storage building and three large generators.

By December of last year, the anaerobic (absence of oxygen) duck waste digester was up and running.

“We aren’t up to full capacity yet,” said Culver Duck’s Renewable Resource Manager Don Young. “We are continually improving on the amount of gas produced and gas quality. We are almost there.”

How it’s done

The process begins with the plant’s duck waste, called offal, and waste water. The offal heads to the digester and the waste water is pumped into the reception pit. There the concoction is mixed by an agitator with vegetable by-products like corn husks and damaged potatoes.

That mix is then pumped into the digester where three agitators combine it and the offal. The methane gas created is then used to power three massive 550 horse power generators.

“We sell the energy to NIPSCO and then buy it back,” Young said. “The arrangement will meet all the plant’s needs as well as an additional 60 to 120 homes.”

    But there’s more to the process than just converting methane into energy.

    “If I am pumping something into the digester, I have to pump something out,” Young said. “What’s left goes to the separator room.”

    The offal mixture is separated into solids and liquids. The liquid waste is filtered through the wetlands and the solid waste becomes biofibers — which is good for soil enhancement.

    And the extra heat exhaust created by the chemical process in the digester will be used to help supplement the plant’s heating needs.

    According to company officials, Culver Duck’s $6 million investment will pay for itself in four to five years.

    Culver Duck is one of 12 facilities using anaerobic digester systems in the state. Nine of those digesters are being operated at commercial livestock farms.

    “This really is cutting-edge technology,” Young said. “I believe we are the only plant in the Western Hemisphere dealing with duck offal.”

    The process and the plant were the focus of the Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group’s spring session on Tuesday. The event hosted by Purdue University, pulled together industry experts, researchers, members of the finance community, government officials, farmers and interested members of the public from all over the state.

    The group, along with Culver Duck management, met at Das Dutchmen Essanhaus in Middlebury for presentations that included digester technology, Culver Duck’s journey from start to finish, and understanding the NIPSCO energy buying process.

    The day’s sessions ended with a tour of the Culver Duck anaerobic digester system.

    “This was the largest group we’ve had tour yet,” Young said. “And it went very well. They were very curious and had a lot of questions.”

Others notice

    Chad Martin, a renewable energy specialist from the agricultural and biology department at Purdue University, was a part of Tuesday’s program.

    “This is not only a great example of solving problems, but of creating opportunities. They are managing waste materials and creating clean renewable energy,” Martin said. “This is definitely a good thing for finding other livestock opportunities statewide.”

    Anaerobic Digestion Specialist and researcher at Purdue University Dr. Jiqin Ni, liked what he saw at Culver Duck.

    “This is very impressive. They are producing clean, renewable energy, reducing pollution and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels,” Dr. Ni said. “Technology in this area is really growing.”

    The technological advances have made it possible for the entire digester process at Culver Duck to be a one-man operation.

    “I’ve had plenty of help from IT guys and consultants,” Young said. “But once all the details have been worked out, this really is a one-person job.”

    In fact when the working day is over, Young can start and stop the process, check the temperature in the digester, and know how many kilowatts the generators are putting out from his laptop computer at home.

    On Friday the Culver Duck Mascot will join the Silver Hawks Mascot on the field during the game against the Quad Cities at Coveliski Stadium in South Bend. The green duck mascot is sponsored by Culver Duck, Whole Foods in Mishawaka (where duck from Culver Duck can be purchased) and JPR consulting firm.

    Culver Duck opened in Middlebury in 1960 and raises and processes 5 million ducks a year.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140719 fairfield transfer families 02 School transfer rules offers families flexibility When it came time to choose which local school district the Howell children would attend, their parents had a decision to make.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140802 first friday sandblast 06 FIRST FRIDAYS: Volleyball tourney, hoops events take center stage GOSHEN — Lori Shreiner and Kim Gallagher sat in lawn chairs, relaxing after winning their first round of competition in First Fridays SandBlast in downtown Goshen.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140730 city council summit 01 Proposed annexation vote set for Tuesday GOSHEN — It may seem like jumping the gun, but there’s a method to their madness.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140801 Cellular Connection backpack giveaway 011.jpg For free school supplies, head to The Cellular Connection GOSHEN — Residents in Goshen are about to benefit from a national backpack giveaway campaign. The Cellular Connection, the largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer in the United States, in a joint effort with its customers, will be donating 100,000

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140801 jeffery hunt Warsaw man gets 120 years for home invasion

    GOSHEN — An elderly New Paris couple who were victims of a violent home invasion last fall recounted that frightening night during one of their attackers’ sentencing hearing.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140801 eby ford image 02 Eby Ford renovates showroom and more GOSHEN — The remodeled and expanded Eby Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership was celebrated Thursday night during an open house and ribbon cutting. “Without our awesome customers, we wouldn’t be here,” said owner Todd Eby as he addressed the crowd of fr

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140801 Mackowiak new Millersburg marshal.jpg Retired Goshen police officer sworn in as new Millersburg town marshal

    Retired Goshen police officer Al Mackowiak was sworn in as Millersburg's new town marshal Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wawasee Conservancy map Conservancy buys wetlands property at Syracuse Lake SYRACUSE — The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation has purchased 44 1/2 acres of property along the southeast corner of Syracuse Lake. It is adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks, East Shore Drive and Cornelius Road and includes the Bonar Lake wetlands

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140731 Habitat auction2.jpg Friday auction to benefit Habitat SHIPSHEWANA — On Friday, LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity will host its annual auction at Shipshewana Auction Barn.The auction begins at 3:30 p.m. and includes, among many other items, a five-piece bedroom suite, a white oak trestle table and a d

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • City heads seek more employees GOSHEN — Like the 2014 budget, the city of Goshen’s proposed 2015 budget will include a number of requests for new personnel as department heads fight to maintain services amidst growing responsibilities and shrinking coffers.The Goshen City Council

    July 31, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction