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Cover at Pinnacle Foods Harnesses Energy from Anaerobic Digestion

Biogas collection cover harnesses energy to help food processing plant offset costs and become more sustainable

Pinnacle Foods is a leading producer of quality branded food products, which can be found in 85% of American households.


When Pinnacle Foods’ acquired the Wish-Bone® and Western® salad dressing brands, its production plant in St. Elmo, Illinois, USA, would need to expand for additional flow. As part of the wastewater treatment plant expansion, Pinnacle Foods introduced anaerobic digestion technology. By capturing the biogas generated from the anaerobic process, Pinnacle Foods could harness the energy to offset costs and become more sustainable. It just needed the right gastight cover.


Evoqua’s Geomembrane Technologies was selected to design and install a biogas collection cover for Pinnacle Foods as part of its wastewater treatment expansion project. The team designed and installed a 95-foot-diameter (29 meter) insulated cover to resist the elements and weathering. The custom-made cover also includes various cover accessories to facilitate operator inspections and maintenance, and is especially designed to safely support foot traffic.


The biogas collection cover that Evoqua’s Geomembrane Technologies engineered for Pinnacle Foods reliably collects biogas from the anaerobic digester, preventing harmful greenhouse gases from releasing into the atmosphere. The system can generate 67,000 ft³/d (1,900 m³/d) of biogas, which is utilized in a new boiler at the treatment plant, helping to heat the digester to the proper temperature. The insulation provided by the cover also helps the digester retain heat more efficiently.​

*Wish-bone and Western are trademarks of Pinnacle Foods Group. All other trademarks are those of their respective owners.