Northern Biogas LLC is a Wisconsin environmental manufacturer of anaerobic digesters. Although focusing on farm digesters for animal manure, Northern Biogas's equipment can also be used to generate energy from industrial and human sewage sludge. In its words, its digesters convert "livestock manure, feed waste, food waste and other energy substrates into valuable co-products.
Toxic Sludge Gasification Controversy
EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman has called gasification, or using sludge to generate methanol or energy, the "most environmentally sound approach, but also the most expensive," to sludge disposal. However, anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, while it reduces the volume of the sludge and heats it to a temperature that kills many pathogens, still leaves behind what the industry calls "digestate" or, more specifically in this case, "biosolids." These "Class A Biosolids" (so-called because the Environmental Protection Agency has stricter limits on pathogens and "vector attraction" for Class A than for Class B Biosolids, i.e. they must not attract disease-carrying insects or rodents, etc.) still contain other sludge contaminants, including Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances.
The EPA's 2009 Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS) concluded that all sewage sludge, Class A, Class B or otherwise, contains toxic and hazardous materials, including large numbers of endocrine disruptors. The TNSSS results are described in two EPA reports published in 2009. EPA found that dozens of hazardous materials, not regulated and not required to be tested for, have been documented in each and every one of the sludge samples EPA took around the USA. And yet Class A "Biosolids" may be applied to cropland with no restrictions and sold or given away to gardeners as "organic fertilizers," and hundreds of municipalities and companies do so.
Exhibitor at and Sponsor of the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling"
Northern Biogas was an exhibitor at and sponsor of the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling." BioCycle Magazine is a publication serving the interests of the sewage sludge industry.
1508 Allouez Ave., Ste. 4
Green Bay, WI 54311
Phone: (920) 948-3216
Other SourceWatch Resources
- Northern Biogas LLC, About Us, corporate website, accessed November 8, 2011
- HotFrog, Companies: Northern Biogas, online business directory ("a place for you, the small business owner, to tell the world what you do differently"), accessed November 8, 2011
- Environmental Protection Agency, TNSSS: EPA-822-R-08-016 and EPA-822-R-08-018, January 2009
- BioCycle, Exhibitor Directory, publisher's website, accessed November 3, 2011
- BioCycle, BioCycle Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling Conference 2011, online schedule, accessed November 8, 2011
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