Delft Blue Veal Biogas Process

  1. Liquid manure is produced by the farm’s veal calves. All manure is automatically pumped directly into the digester at frequent intervals throughout the day.
  2. Fats, oils and greases (FOG) from off-farm sources are delivered to the biogas plant for digestion. Digesting these products in a biogas plant diverts these organic wastes from landfills.
  3. The off-farm waste is pasteurized at 7a °G for one hour to remove all pathogens from the liquid in compliance with the Ministry of Environment regulations.
  4. Solid waste is fed into the digester via a PlanET Dry Feeder. The feeder is loaded once a day and is automatically fed into the digester at even intervals throughout the day.
  5. The anaerobic digester is the heart of the system. All inputs processed in this 2,-100 m3 concrete digester at38°C. In the absence of oxygen, bacteria from the manure break down the organic matter and convert it to biogas, very similar to what occurs in a cow’s stomach. The digester is continually stirred by way of submersible mixers to ensure an efficient biological process.
  6. An automatic flare ensures that all excess biogas that is not consumed by the engines is destroyed in an environmentally acceptable manner.
  7. Two MAN engines burn the biogas to produce 499 kW of electrical energy for resale to the local electricity grid. The engines, packaged by Martin Machinery, are specifically designed for burning biogas. In addition to electricity production, these two engines produce hot water used for heating puposes.
  8. Electricity produced by the biogas engines is distributed to the local electricity grid. Electricity is sold to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) under the province’s new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program. Protection devices are installed to ensure consistent, safe generation of electricity.
  9. In addition to biogas, the anaerobic digester produces digestate as an end-product. Digestate is a high-value  fertilizer that can be used for land application for crops, golf course fertilizers, or straw bale gardens.
  10. Hot water generated by the biogas engines is captured and used to provide heat to the digester and other heat loads in the biogas plant. In addition, hot water is used in the barns to reduce the amount of fossil fuel purchased for heating and process demands.

Both Engines Running

Success at last! Both engines are now running and we broke six mega watts of daily production on December 13th 2010.
At this time the ramp up to full power is about two weeks ahead of schedule. This is due to the increase of FOG concentrates and ORRs waste.

The Anaerobic Digester is now completely on veal manure and what seemed to be a challenge at the start of the project has turned out to be a source of excellent CH4 gas. The increase to 500 KWH should be completed by mid February and this continued increase will be the result of ORMI‘s mixtures of FOG and ORRs.

Here is some background on ORMI and where and how they get the materials that boost Anaerobic Digester performance.

Anaerobic Digesters – The 3 R’s

  • ADs solve a major issue for the current government and they are not even aware of it.
  • ADs are the only major agri-based initiative that reduces green house gases associated with farming.
  • ADs REUSE farming, food processing and waste produce to produce stable power.
  • ADs RECYCLE by producing land nutrients and recyclable animal bedding thus having a significant LCA impact.
  • ADs REDUCE the cost of power production and the need for fertilizers. ADs reduce the risk of pollution due to land spreading of manure…remember Walkerton
  • ADs add a fourth R to the three Rs. That is RECLAMATION, using waste straw, hay and other post harvest cellulose based vegetation we can mix our compost with this foraged leftover, cover it in AD liquor and seed immediately… after a few years you now have land capable of sustaining some vegetable crops and these become agents for Carbon Sequestration We have RECLAIMED poorly performing land and added income to our pummeled economy.

This process means we (AD operators) have provided the current government with it’s first and only tool to deliver the Green Act to agriculture and any future government cannot refute this claim.

Now we a positioned to give the right story… it is not about electricity rates… it is about support to get the AD industry growing and going and the BTW providing dependable power to the grid and later biomass crops that will feed the revamped coal fired plants. They are not closing coal fired plants they are firing them with something else.

Let’s get our story compiled and consolidated then lets start lobbying. Yes, we need to tell our story but we had better put a new version of it out; rather than crapping on the current government, dumping on the OPA…either we are part of the problem or part of the solution and all governments want solutions to brag about and not issues to perturb them. In end ADs are providing a comprehensive solution to the Green Act that will be engaged by all political strips.

“Thus the wise win before they fight…while the ignorant fight to Win”

DELFT BLUE Green! Sustainable, Healthy Veal

October, 2010, Cambridge, Ontario – Delft Blue, North America’s leading veal supplier and producer is a proud believer in the innovation of agriculture. As a demonstration of our commitment to innovative and sustainable practices, Delft Blue has spearheaded the construction of a BioEnergyfacility on our Cambridge, Ontario farm.

Organic wastes and greases from the grocery and food service industries collected through the ORMI program (Organic Resource Management Inc.) are combined with our farm waste products in the BioEnergysuite. The energy produced by the biogas generators is then harnessed and used for electricity. Through this project Delft Blue generates enough clean, renewable energy not only to heat our barns and power our farm vehicles but also to power 500 homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, the digestate that is produced by this process becomes a pathogen free land nutrient used to optimize fields and plants.

As part of this project, we organize informative plant and farm tours for chefs and retailers. Through innovative farming and animal care methods, our commitment to sustainability and stewardship, we are proud to lead our industry forward. Our fully integrated system from feed-to farm-to-processing ensures that control and care goes into each and every product.

A balanced nutrition and good eating habits are a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. Veal is a quality protein delivering essential nutrients for your health and vitality. It is high in vitamin B12,iron, zinc and protein and low in saturated fat.

Delft Blue is proud to introduce the new Ontario Homegrown Veal Menu. This is a certified program that works in close partnership with the Ontario veal farming community to bring homegrown freshness to our customers. This program combined with our own in-house aging process ensures a unique high quality veal selection. As John Meyer, our Food Service Sales Manager and Corporate Chef explains; “this is a truly unique product developed by chefs for chefs. Together we support our Ontario Farmers and partners with exceptionally great tasting and high quality veal. This program demonstrates our ongoing commitment and our obligation to sustainability in cuisine and to the region.”

Experience the colossal taste of our fresh Tower Osso Buccoone of our signature items. This perfectly tender veal shank can be slow braised in roasted garlic, tomatoes, onions and white wine. It offers the convenience of individual portions, labour savings and stable food cost. Our fresh Cambridge City Loin Chopsand premium fresh Milk Fed Pounded Scallopini are just a few of our unique offerings. Put some passion and profit in your menu!


For over 25 years Delft Blue is a principal national supplier of fresh, frozen, and fully cooked portioned veal and other value added meat products for Canada’s top foodservice and retail customers. Delft Blue is an industry leader and a complete value chain processor providing product control from gate to plate. Delft Blue continues to expand its case ready product lines to include new proteins and items, such as fresh and marinated kebabs, veal rolls, dressed chops and sausages. Delft Blue, along with its two sister companies, Ecolait and ProVeal, offer companies a wide range of co-packing services, an effective alternative to in-house production.

Terra Gator Increasing Efficiency of Farm Operations

I have only used it for a couple hours because of the weather, but already I’m blown away on how much better this is than using a tractor and wagon.

Everything is controlled from the cab, which cuts down time considerably running back and forth engaging/disengaging pump open/close valves.

On top of that it has a boom loading system so you don’t have to stop and wrestle a hose every load.

The only time a hose is needed is when you are flushing barns and cleaning sump pits.

One of the best features of the Terra Gator is the most prominent … the floatation tires. I was driving 15 mph in a plowed field comfortably and hardly leaving any trace of being there. That is almost impossible to do with any other machine.

It also has injectors which helps again to reduce the odour by incorporating the manure/digestate directly into the ground.

We may not be able to use this feature in some of the more rocky fields, but it a great option for some of the fields in better condition.

The 10 speed transmission gives you 5 low range gears (for spreading) and 5 high range gears (for road travel) and can reach speeds of 40 MPH.

I found that is fairly simple to operate after only hauling a couple loads.

This is definitely a big step in increasing the efficiency of our farm operations, and possibly another source of income if we decide to do some custom manure hauling for neighbouring farmers.

Bio-digester Performance for October 2010

I thought that this time I would go into a little more detail so that maybe you could better understand this data.  I realize that to someone who doesn’t work with a digester on a day to day basis, this data collection may look like just a bunch of numbers and squiggly lines on a graph.  Some of this info may be old news to some of you.

I’ll start by explaining “Gas Quality”.   The gas quality is checked daily for the following contents:

CH4– Methane  (%)

  • Average for biogas 55-60 %, as you can see, our gas quality is above average.  What does this mean? Better fuel quality = more kW output per m3 of biogas.  With 55-60 % CH4, the typical output would be 2 kW/m3, our output is 2.2 kW/m3.  What caused the increase in gas quality?  After the ORRS waste was introduced on Oct 3 there was a increase in gas quality.

CO2- Carbon Dioxide (%)

  • Average for biogas 30-40 %.  We have a low CO2 content and I believe it is due to the fact our CH4 is higher than average.  The CH4 and CO2 usually balance out close to 100% when added together.  The higher the CH4 content drives down the CO2, and vice versa.

O2- Oxygen (%)

  • Norm 0.5-1 %.  Now it may sound counterproductive to add oxygen into an anaerobic digester, but it does serve a purpose.   The biological desulphurization bacteria that grow on the surface of the wooden “roof” inside the digester require a small amount oxygen.  What they do is take the H2S in the gas and break it into sulphur (S), which sticks to the wood, and water (H2O).

NH3- Ammonia (ppm)

  • The presence ammonia in biogas usually is an indicator that the pH level in the digester is too high also the retention time may be too short. NH3 is not present I our gas at this time.

H2S- Hydrogen Sulfide (ppm)

  • This is watched closely for a couple reason:

o   Higher H2S levels cause more wear and tear to the engine. (MAN engine requirements <200ppm)

o   Higher H2S levels decrease engine oil life time

o   Corrosive gas

  • What causes H2S production?  The amount of H2S depends on the amount of sulphur in the feedstock and retention time.  Also I’ve noticed that when the digester is adjusting to a new feedstock there is an increase in H2S for a short while.
  • How do you remove the gas? Biologically (as I explained earlier) and chemically with Ferric Chloride (FeCl3).  FeCl3 is a more complex process but the end result is the same, other than the fact it works quicker and more efficiently than biological removal.

Modifications in October and their impacts:

1.       Introduction of ORRS waste into digester.

a.       Increase in gas quality

b.      Increased gas quantity/kW output.

2.       Weaned off of the dairy manure.

a.       Decrease in operating cost

b.      Reduced H2S production (less FeCl3 needed to stay within engine specs)

3.       Increased overall feed rate:

a.       Additional increased gas production

Within the month of October we have more than double our gas output, and November is off to a great start.  Feel free to call if you have any questions.  I will include some information on the FOS/TAC and it’s importance in the next update.  That’s all for now.