Bioenergy Devco treated MRN members to a tour of their new anaerobic digester, the Maryland Food Center Facility. Built in partnership with the Maryland state government, the facility is located on the Maryland Food Center campus in Jessup, MD, and takes advantage of the abundance of food processing companies like Del Monte and Sysco whose food scraps offer a plentiful and steady feedstock for the system. This facility is the first anaerobic digester of its scale in the state and is capable of recycling 115,000 tons of organics annually to produce approximately 265,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas for energy and 20,000 tons of rich, fertile soil amendment for agricultural and other land use. The resulting greenhouse gases prevented from being released into the atmosphere has the equivalent environmental impact of a 47,000 acre forest, or 56 times the size of Central Park.
Once fully operational this fall, the facility will be able to rely completely on its self-generated supply of natural gas to power all its operations and still have a surplus to feed back to BGE producing enough energy to power 4,800 homes. More importantly for our industry, the facility will bring a substantial boost to our state’s ability to process organic waste.