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Pork giant Smithfield to convert pig poop gases into power

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The world’s largest pork company said it’s going whole-hog on converting powerful pig poop gases into power.

Smithfield Foods said it is expanding to farms across North Carolina, Utah and Missouri a pilot program that traps methane and burns the gas to generate electricity.

Smithfield said its company-owned and contract farms over the next decade will cover waste-treatment pits to capture the gas and keep out rainwater. The gas will be channeled to processing centers and converted into natural gas.

The Environmental Defense Fund is working with Smithfield to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental group said large-scale rollout of the plan could have the effect over 20 years of eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from more than 700,000 homes.

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