A northwest Iowa pharmaceutical company is getting a federal grant of more a half-million dollars toward what’s called a methane digester. Sioux Pharm Incorporated in Sioux Center is getting the $525,000 grant and a guaranteed loan from the U.S.D.A.
Sioux Pharm president Alan Kramer says the digester will save them in trucking, sewer and gas expenses by using as many as 20,000 gallons per day of wastewater product. “Anything that’s organic can be converted into methane gas and a fertilizer,” Kramer says.
“It’s just a new technology that’s coming to the Midwest. It’ll be good for our city sewers. We don’t have to put all this stuff down there. It’s green and you generate bio-gas, which is a renewable fuel.”
Kramer says they’ll use the methane digester differently from most other companies do to convert more proteins in the manure to beneficial end products. He says the technology is being adapted and “tweaked” to switch between producing carbohydrates and proteins. Grants under the U.S.D.A.’s REAP program can finance up to 25% of a project’s cost, not to exceed a half-million dollars for renewable energy systems or a quarter-million for energy efficiency.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton