Case Study: Butler Farms Bioenergy

Animal Waste to Energy Biogas Project

Lagoon cover and anaerobic digester project on swine farm in North Carolina.

Summary of Key Project Attributes

Project: Animal Waste to Energy Biogas Project


Location: Lillington, NC


Project Owner: Butler Farms


Farms Involved: Butler Farms, Lillington NC


Herd Sizes: Swine

Burrows Hall Farm = 9600 Finisher farm.


Technology: Heated Complete Mix Anaerobic Digestion of swine manure with capture of biogas for combined-heat-and-power generation.


Daily Biogas Production: Average of 86,331 cubic feet per day.
System Capacity: 180 kW of continuous electrical supply.


Funding Sources: Mr. Butler has executed a Power Purchase Agreement with the South River Electric Cooperative. Also, he obtained a US Treasury tax credit (under Section 1603 of ARRA), NC Green Business Fund, a Farm Bureau Loan and an NRCS CIG Grant.
Unique Characteristics: Project employs innovative elements such as an in-ground lined lagoon with side-slope thermal insulation underneath the liner, provisions for heating and mixing the input manure slurry, and an insulated geo-membrane cover with an integrated biogas collection system, H2S scrubbing and a 180kW generator set with a heat exchanger to provide the heat needed for the lagoon.
Environmental Co-benefits Reduction of 5,199 tons of CO2e per year (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) and elimination of manure odor makes farms better neighbors. Manure can be a significant source of water pollution in agricultural communities; our biodigesters contribute to the abatement of this issue by improving wastewater treatment.  The reduction of nutrient runoff also improves water quality.


Social Co-Benefits Stabilizing near-term electricity costs helps ensure the continued financial soundness of this family farm; strengthening financial underpinning of family farms maintains the character of the community and provides farms with a complete cycle neighbor friendly reputation.


Other Parties Involved
  • NRCS
  • NC Green Business Fund
  • Farm Bureau
  • Environmental Fabrics Inc
  • South River Electric Cooperative
  • Martin Machinery