DNREC Sets Virtual Workshop in Sept. on Seaford Biogas Project


A proposal to expand a composting facility in Seaford will be detailed next month during a Delaware Natural Resources virtual community workshop.

Bioenergy Devco will need several permits to move forward with its proposal, which includes construction of an anaerobic digester that makes it possible to convert organic waste into renewable natural gas.

BDC would be permitted to receive and process up to 250,000 tons of organic waste per year. Other upgrades are also proposed.

The virtual workshop will take place Wednesday, September 28that 6:00 p.m. Another virtual hearing would take place about a month later.

DNREC provided additional background:

BDC’s facility is currently permitted by DNREC to accept organic waste from approved poultry industry sources for composting. The proposed facility expansion would give BDC the capacity for receiving and processing up to 250,000 tons per year of permitted organic waste. In addition to the proposed anaerobic digestion system, the expansion plans also include construction of a wastewater pre-treatment system and a biogas upgrading plant. There is also a proposed emergency generator.

Byproducts from the process would include pipeline-grade renewable natural gas (RNG) and digestate, which would be dewatered and is proposed for use in the adjacent compost facility – or to be marketed in the future as a soil amendment that can be turned into compost (and which would require a distribution and marketing permit that is not part of the current proposed project and permit applications).

Specifically, information about each of the DNREC permits BDC has applied for include:

A resource recovery facility permit from the DNREC Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances to construct an anaerobic digestion system, biogas upgrading plant, and compost facility, designed to process poultry industry wastes into digestate, pipeline-grade renewable natural gas (RNG), and compost. Wastes the facility will accept include poultry litter, hatchery waste, dissolved air flotation (DAF) solid cake and liquid sludge, offal, waste activated sludge, and fats, oils, and greases.

Two 1102 Natural Minor air pollution permits from the DNREC Division of Air Quality to construct a natural gas-fired emergency generator with a standby power rating of 1,082 kilowatts (kW) (1,451 horsepower) and four anaerobic digesters with associated biogas upgrade and air pollution control equipment. The engine used in the proposed generator set is certified to comply with, and will be required to adhere to, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Two wastewater facility construction permits from the DNREC Division of Water to construct an anaerobic digestion system and a wastewater pre-treatment system as part of the proposed resource recovery facility that processes poultry industry wastes into digestate, pipeline-grade renewable natural gas and compost. The anaerobic digestion system and wastewater pretreatment system will include three 0.208-million-gallon (MG) pretreatment tanks, and four 1.95 MG fermentation tanks, a Membrane Bioreactor System (MBR), a 0.198 MG anoxic tank, a 0.412 MG aerobic reactor, a 0.198 MG ultrafiltration feeding tank and ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis treatment systems. The treated wastewater will be pumped and hauled to the Seaford wastewater treatment and disposal facility. BDC plans for a future construction phase will eliminate the need to transport the wastewater via truck by constructing a sanitary sewer pump station and force main that will connect to a future city of Seaford force main located in front of the BDC biogas site on Seaford Road.

BDC’s permit applications and supporting materials can be found in detail on the DNREC website at de.gov/biodevco.