In the past two years, a new energy technology company, Schmack BioEnergy has introduced proven European technology to the State of Ohio. Schmack’s strength is its 15-year history in state-of the-art, high-solids anaerobic digestion system (ADS) technology that recycles organic wastes to produce such usable energy products as biogas (a fuel source) that can be converted to pipeline quality, natural gas; motor vehicle fuel; electricity; soil amendments; and fertilizer.
The basic technology leverages a partnership with Schmack Biogas, a German company, which created a methodology to utilize many sources of organic material—animal wastes, food production waste, municipal biosolids—to generate energy. With nearly 300 operational ADS facilities in Europe, Schmack BioEnergy has now transferred the German technology into fully-engineered systems approved in all 50 states.
Schmack’s presence in Ohio includes a full-service, biogas research and demonstration laboratory at OARDC facility in Wooster, where more than 16 pilot-scale digesters that are generating real-time data on biogas generation. Schmack is the only AD company in North America with a dedicated laboratory of this nature. The Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) has committed to monetary support and is actively helping Schmack with laboratory/research leadership and is assisting with Schmack’s applications for ODOD Third Frontier funding.
Schmack also has the first operational, high-solids ADS facility in North America, currently processing 100% biosolids in Akron. Capable of handling 5,000 dry tons/year of municipal biosolids to produce 335 kW of electricity, this plant sometimes produces 20% more energy than expected. Eventually, this system will be able to handle all of Akron’s biosolids, potentially accept other waste streams, and also produce soil amendment products.
Schmack is now building a second ADS facility in Columbus, with groundbreaking set for October 2008. At full capacity, the Columbus facility, which will be a showplace, ironically sits on the site of the former, ill-fated trash-burning power plant, will produce 600 cfm of biogas and 300 MMBtu of energy per day.
Schmack was launched by a team of Ohio investors, whose mission is to produce affordable renewable energy from organic waste, while improving our environment. To help expedite their mission, Schmack has teamed up with the OBIC through the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) and The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, to expand its engineering and research and development divisions to accelerate the roll-out of their systems.