Monogram Snacks in Martinsville has been named a 2017 finalist for “Project of the Year” by the American Biogas Council. According to a statement from the American Biogas Council, the Monogram Snacks Clean Energy Plant “represents biogas projects and innovations which are both exceptional individually and also examples for replication in future biogas projects.” Since April of 2015, the team at Monogram Snacks has been working to implement an $11 million waste treatment facility for the production water with the capabilities not only to clean production water for the city management of Martinsville but also to capture and convert natural gas into renewable energy.
June of 2017 marked the beginning of Monogram’s bioenergy production. One day’s worth of production water is run through the waste treatment system, which includes an anaerobic digester. An anaerobic digester uses a specific kind of bacteria to break down the solid food waste in the water, and as a result of that biological process, the bacteria produce methane gas. Methane gas, if handled properly, can be used to power electrical generators. The treated water returns to the city management of Martinsville for further treatment. Monogram Snacks’ Environmental Health and Safety Manager Brian Neal clarifies, “With the addition of our bioenergy production capacity, Monogram now has the ability to capture and convert that methane gas into a renewable form of electrical energy.” The energy produced through this conversion process joins the Appalachian Power grid, which serves much of the Martinsville community.
Plant Manager Pat Strickland says proudly, “Monogram Snacks now produces snack foods, reusable water, and renewable electrical energy for the city of Martinsville.”