Happy Earth Day from Clean Fuel Partners!
Did you know Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson? (Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work.)
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.” 
Earth Day 2016 marks the historical Paris Climate Agreement event, when more than 150 countries will come together to sign the first-ever legally binding global climate deal. “We’re leaving the age of Jurassic fuels behind — for good — and moving to cleaner, smarter ways to power our future,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Clean Fuel Partners was founded with the expressed goals of capturing methane from farm waste to create renewable energy and recover nutrients to reduce ground and water pollution, as well as producing fertilizer and other pathogen-reduced fiber from the digestate. We recognize that every business has a purpose that includes making money but we also believe it is of equal importance to do so by environmentally innovative and effective sustainability practices. These practices don’t end with our Renewable Energy Ecosystems. Clean Fuel Partners is a green company, relying on the cloud for most of the administrative and corporate function – in fact, even our corporate office is virtual.
Community is key in creating an environmentally sustainable business. We’re proud to call Wisconsin home to our first two Anaerobic Digester facilities, located in the towns of Dane and Waterloo. Since the purchase was finalized in December of 2015, we have been working with community and government organizations to find out where we can make the biggest impact in Wisconsin. If you have an idea about how Clean Fuel Partners can benefit the Wisconsin communities, we’d love to hear about it! Just comment below or send us a note.
Clean Fuel Dane (CFD) began improvements to the 7.8 acre facility in October 2015 with the installation of a new dual membrane roof for one of three digester tanks on site. (See the installation gallery here). Improvements to safety and usability are ongoing – new personal H2S monitors for facility employees, new high-visibility work uniforms, and relocation of facility structures for improved visibility are just a few of the ways we are working towards a safe working environment. CFD began installation of a new centrifuge in March 2016 that is capable of separating 216,000 gallons of digestate per day, a 170% increase from the current centrifuge. The new centrifuge is expected to be operational by late Spring 2016. We’re continuously looking for new opportunities to utilize the digester outputs, like making biodegradable plastics or vehicle fuel.
As improvements are made to the facility, input capacity and production amounts are steadily increasing. In the first quarter of 2016, the Dane Facility had an increase of over 70% in their monthly phosphorus removal. The 2 1-megawatt engines at the Dane Facility currently produce an average of 800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month – that’s more than 850 homes that no longer need to be powered by coal or other fossil fuels.
Currently, Clean Fuel Crave (CFC) is in the planning process of doing a complete plant overhaul. Our current generator (633 kilowatt output) is nearing the end of its life with over 56,000 hrs of runtime, having produced over 28,394.2 megawatt hours of electricity. The facility has also provided a fiber bedding product for Crave Brothers Farm’s heifer animals, and provides heat to the farm’s facilities including a house, shop, office, break room, and veterinary room. Moving forward, CFC will continue to produce renewable energy in the form of supplying electricity to the grid and heat to Crave Bros with a new CHP (Combined heat and power). We will also be installing a drying unit, fueled by biogas, to provide quality bedding for all of the farms animals. This will reduce the farms dependency on outside bedding products and reduce truck traffic. Some decommissioning has already taken place, but construction will not begin for a month or two. The plan is to begin re-commissioning at the end of 2016- beginning of 2017. Follow the CFC improvements by subscribing to our rss feed or email newsletter.
At the (virtual) headquarters of Clean Fuel Partners, we are focused on building relationships with the community we serve. Planning and preparation is underway for our rededication event at the Dane Facility in May. We’re connecting with local politicians and organizations to understand concerns of farmers and citizens and find ways to make a positive impact on the community. Environmental education is a priority for us as well. By visiting our blog, Twitter, and Facebook you can learn all about the dangers of greenhouse gases, nutrient pollution and how our Renewable Energy Ecosystems can make a difference. Do you have a topic you would like to learn more about? Please share with us in the comment section or drop a note.
Clean Fuel Partners’ Promise
We are committed to providing a significant, positive mitigation of the impacts of farming in the Yahara watershed by reducing nutrient load and methane emissions. In addition, we will invite community participation and commentary by providing regular, timely reporting of progress with measurable results. Together, we can put waste to work and leave a lasting impact on the environment for future generations.
If you would like to learn more about what we do, who we are, or how you can get involved with Clean Fuel Partners commitment to the environment, please leave us a note in the comment section below or send us a note!
Make A Difference Today
As we celebrate Earth Day, we invite you to investigate how you too can make an impact on the environment. No effort is too small. Throw that can in the recycle bin instead of the trash. Build a compost bin for your food scraps. Bike or walk to your next outing. Conserve water by collecting rainwater. Everything makes an impact. Join us on our mission to do well by doing good.