The Chilean pig sector transition to green energy


Renewable energies are becoming increasingly fundamental in reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. The Chilean pork industry contributes through the use of biomass -organic waste for the production of biofuels-, which is key in the implementation of a more sustainable economy.

Posted on Jun 07 ,00:03

The Chilean pig sector transition to green energy

Although in Chile there are still no pig sector plants dedicated to purifying biogas into biomethane to obtain a similar fuel, there is great potential for the development of eco-fuels, which requires synergy with other sectors.

Global aviation today faces significant challenges amid climate uncertainty. As such, in 2022, US clean energy company Fulcrum BioEnergy achieved a major milestone by becoming the first commercial facility to produce low-carbon crude oil, which was refined into a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This innovative technology converts household trash into renewable transportation fuels, which not only reduces landfill waste, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by favoring the use of clean transportation fuels.

The methane biogas production process, obtained from supplies from landfills, agricultural operations and wastewater treatment facilities, offers a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuel used in aircraft. The aforementioned waste is turned into small confetti-like raw materials, which are then transformed into syngas , a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen molecules. This syngas is put through the Fischer-Tropsch process , which converts it into liquid jet fuels.

The capture and conversion of methane from biogas into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) allows to reduce CO2 emissions, use resources efficiently and generate lower GHG emissions compared to fossil fuels.
The Association of Chilean Meat Exporters, ChileCarne, is working on the technological, energy and environmental transformation of companies, promoting the use of technologies for the treatment of pig slurry, which can be used as biofuels. . These technologies allow long-term sustainable production by reducing greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, while reconciling the activity with local communities.

Daniela Álvarez, ChileCarne's Sustainability Manager, stressed the positive impact of the actions implemented in the Chilean pork industry in the last decade: "Thanks to technologies such as biodigesters, which allow the production of biogas from manure, it has been possible to a 26% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per capita from hog produced in the last 20 years. Currently, the biogas generated by the 19 existing biodigesters in pig farms is used to a large extent in the generation of renewable electrical energy, or in boilers, for heating the animals and the biodigesters themselves, or in pelleting feed. Although in Chile we still do not have any plant dedicated to the purification of biogas into biomethane, there is great potential for the development of eco-fuels that support reductions in oil consumption and contribute to the circular economy, especially if we think about synergies with other sectors”.

In relation to this, and considering the necessary strengthening for the generation of initiatives that promote the use of biofuels, the incorporation of pork producing companies to the Conscious Chile Origin Program provides them with concrete opportunities to address the issue of Greenhouse Gas Effect (GHG) and look to the future.

“From the Chilean pork industry point of view, we are firmly convinced that we must participate in the energy transition to achieve a significant and immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2. For this reason, beyond the actions that we have already carried out and that we are constantly measuring and certifying, we are open to new alliances that allow us to contribute even more to the global goals of climate neutrality and where eco-fuels are key," concluded Daniela Alvarez.

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