High Plains Bioenergy, a subsidiary of Seaboard Foods, started operations of its new Biogas Upgrading Plant [BUP] in August. The plant produces pipeline-quality renewable natural gas, which is scrubbed from the biogas collected from the waste water treatment system at the Seaboard Foods pork processing plant in Guymon, Okla.

In the past, Seaboard Foods recovered raw biogas from the three anaerobic wastewater lagoons at the pork processing plant that was a suitable quality to only heat the boilers in the pork processing facility. The new BUP increases the quality of the biogas through a pressure swing absorption process to produce pipeline quality renewable natural gas.

The updated plant will be able to produce 440 million standard cubic feet per year of recovered natural gas that will be sold to utility companies to generate electricity for more than 5,300 homes a year.

"High Plains Bioenergy is dedicated to finding alternative energy sources and using the byproducts of the Seaboard Foods connected system responsibly and in a renewable way," says Gary Louis, executive vice president of Seaboard Foods, "With our new biogas recovery plant, we're doing exactly what HPB has been charged to do, by taking what is often considered a waste product and making renewable energy from it."

In addition to the biogas recovery plant, High Plains Bioenergy operates biodiesel plants in Guymon, Okla. and St. Joseph, Mo. The Guymon biodiesel plant uses fat from the Guymon pork processing plant as the feedstock and the St. Joseph biodiesel plant uses vegetable oils as the primary feedstock. They also operate compressed natural gas stations for vehicles in the connected food system and for the public.