Manure Manager

New technology converts horse waste into green energy

July 30, 2008  by Manure Manager


New technology converts horse waste into green energy
MaxWest Environmental Systems Inc. and Florida Thoroughbred Breeders'
and Owners' Association (FTBOA) have announced a partnership to convert
horse waste into renewable energy.

MaxWest Environmental Systems Inc. and Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association (FTBOA) have announced a partnership to convert horse waste into renewable energy. Signed on June 19, the partnership will reduce horse waste while generating "green" energy for the Ocala/Marion County community.

Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," Ocala/Marion County is home to 431 Thoroughbred breeding and training farms covering more than 70,000 acres of Florida's prime, mineral-rich pastures. Since 1945 FTBOA has represented the Thoroughbred industry by administering awards programs for Florida-bred racehorses and promoting the industry to the rest of the country and the world. More than 2,000 members strong, FTBOA is active in pertinent issues facing the local and national Thoroughbred industries.


The disposal of horse/stall waste is a problem that increasingly draws the attention of state and local government agencies. Animal waste contains pollutants that can contaminate surface and ground water supplies when disposed improperly. Currently, individual farms are responsible for the disposal of stall waste. MaxWest's gasification technology will provide FTBOA members with a convenient, environmentally friendly method of horse manure disposal.

"With more than 35,000 Thoroughbred horses in the county, there's a lot of horse waste," said Richard Hancock, executive vice president of FTBOA. "That's why the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been encouraging our industry to find a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to dispose of manure from FTBOA members and other area horse breeders and owners. MaxWest's technology will provide a solution."

Horse waste will be trucked from farms, training centers, sales companies, and other equine facilities across Marion County to a site owned and managed by the partnership. The manure will be mixed with wood waste and then gasified in MaxWest's integrated gasification system to produce renewable thermal energy, which will then be used to produce "green" electric power for sale to the power grid.

"The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association is to be commended for its leadership in solving problems while also generating renewable power. As you know, it is this type of project that I support as part of my Farm to Fuel(TM) Initiative. In fact, my staff had the opportunity to meet with representatives of MaxWest and was impressed with their waste-to-energy-system," said Charles Bronson, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture.

The facility is expected to convert upwards of 100,000 tons of stall and wood waste per year. The process should produce approximately 7.2 megawatts of exportable energy daily, enough to power over 1,400 homes.

"The Thoroughbred industry is an important, billion-dollar business for the county, so our partnership is a special one," said Bill Baker, vice president of marketing for MaxWest Environmental Systems. "We're taking vital steps to ensure that MaxWest's technology will provide the seamless process Ocala and Marion County are looking for to manage this waste stream process."

Most recently, MaxWest has focused its technology on working with municipalities to convert biosolids to green energy at wastewater treatment plants and is presently talking with Florida dairies and cattle feedlots across the United States. The FTBOA project is its first expansion into working with horse waste.

The Maxwest system works with wood, crop wastes, and other forms of carbon-based wastes such as plastic. MaxWest systems are presently operating at facilities converting wood, cow, chicken, and mixed wastes.

MaxWest and FTBOA representatives and waste-to-energy consultant David Moore will be on hand at the Farm-to-Fuel Summit hosted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando from July 30 to August 1, 2008.


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