An Idaho renewable alternative energy technology firm announced Tuesday a successful gas quality test for its system of producing biogas from dairy manure, turning it into what the company claims is another form of pipeline-quality natural gas. Officials of Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. in Idaho Falls, ID, officials said the firm is now prepared to make its first commercial delivery of manure-to-gas supplies to the local utility, Intermountain Gas Co.

Intrepid said a Casper, WY firm, American Mobil Research Inc., a widely known natural gas analysis laboratory, confirmed that gas produced from the Intrepid gas conditioning equipment at a prototype demonstration facility at a Rupert, ID, dairy “meets the heating value requirement for direct injection into a commercial natural gas pipeline distribution system.”

“The gas contains acceptable low levels of sulfur, and methane purity content obtained by Intrepid is 99.7%, or the equivalent of 1,008-Btus-per-cubic-foot of gas, exceeding expectations,” the company’s prepared statement said.

Involved in the new equipment’s development was the Andigen/Utah State University team that over more than three years developed a proprietary “Induced Blanket Reactor” digester technology that Intrepid used as the platform for its demonstration project at the dairy, according to Jake Dustin, president of the technology firm.

“What we just achieved at our commercial demonstration plant in Idaho goes a long way towards showing that animal waste made into pipeline-quality natural gas can be suitable for this replacement [of natural gas imports],” said Intrepid CEO Dennis Keiser, who touted the importance of establishing that animal waste can be converted to commercially acceptable gas as being a means of addressing the nation’s dwindling supplies of traditional natural gas.

(Most digester gas facilities have applied the alternative gas supplies produced directly to small on-site power generation units, and the fuel is not shipped through commercial gas pipelines.)

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