Landfill gas to power seed dryer for biodiesel project

By Ryan C. Christiansen | September 16, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 30, 2008 at 2:37 p.m. CST

Methane gas from a Snohomish County, Wash., landfill is being used to power a dryer to dry canola seeds that will be crushed and used to produce oil for the county's biodiesel.

County leaders officially opened the Cathcart Operations Center seed drying facility for business on Sept. 23, capping off the county's $410,000 investment in the seed dryer and equipment to convert gas from the Cathcart landfill into fuel for the dryer. An additional $344,400 in federal funds helped the county to purchase the dryer. The county set aside an additional $80,000 to develop the project and conduct two years of trial runs at the facility. A $500,000 state Energy Freedom Fund grant will help to purchase a forthcoming seed crusher for the facility. The oil from the canola seeds will be sold to a prospective local biodiesel processor and the county will purchase biodiesel from that processor.

The Cathcart Operations Center is a central component of the Snohomish County Farm-Grown Fuel Project, a partnership between public and private organizations to establish a regional facility to produce canola oil which can be a feedstock for biodiesel. The initiative's goal is to locally grow and process oilseed crops for the production of biodiesel, the county said.

Biodiesel Magazine reported in July on this project receiving federal funding. To learn more, read "Federal grants fuel Washington biodiesel initiative."
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