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  • Writer's pictureOSI Sustainability

Amick's Boiler Upgrade Cuts Water + Carbon Without Sacrificing Sanitation

Amick Farms, an OSI subsidiary that runs three fully integrated poultry production complexes, uses hot water every day for rigorous cleaning, wash down and sanitation. These daily procedures ensure Amick's production environment meets top sanitation and food safety standards, but also presents water reduction challenges.

Like all OSI businesses, Amick has been focused on curbing its water usage without compromising on sanitation and food safety and recently implemented a solution that resulted in even more environmental benefits than initially expected.

After reviewing water usage data, Amick team members saw an opportunity to reduce water use at one of its facilities by upgrading the chemicals used to remove impurities and keep the boiler running efficiently.

By switching from a conventional chemical to purified tannin, a natural and renewable compound, the company could curb not only water consumption, but also discharge to wastewater, the quantity of chemicals used to treat water and the amount of natural gas used to fuel the boilers.

Amick's feed plant in Delmar, Delaware had already implemented the change and positive results there inspired the team to try the new chemical treatment at its processing plant in Hurlock, Maryland.

The upgrade last year went smoothly and has since enabled the plant to save 3,700 dth of natural gas each year, which is roughly the amount of gas used to heat 85 1,500-square-foot residential homes. The plant is now also offsetting roughly 200 tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of removing about 44 mid-size cars from the road. It is also offsetting about 1.3 million gallons of make-up water, and roughly 1.8 million gallons of sewer water each year.

The savings all come from the chemical compound that has allowed the boiler to run more efficiently, hold a higher conductivity, and generate more steam with less fuel.

The positive results at both plants has now prompted Amick to look into making the change at its remaining facilities.

Amick has also shared updates about the boiler upgrade with OSI colleagues, as the entire organization explores solutions to reduce our global water consumption without compromising on food safety and quality — an industry-wide challenge.

Amick's boiler experience, therefore, is not just a win for Amick, but for all of OSI, which stands to learn from their experience as we look for water and carbon-saving solutions for our facilities around the world.

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