December 14, 2006 | General

Enzyme Producer Grows Greener With Composting

BioCycle December 2006, Vol. 47, No. 12, p. 24
A North Carolina Environmental Stewardship award-winning facility uses its own enzyme production residuals, plus recycled organics from outside sources, to enhance its composting operation.
Matt Ewadinger, Brian Rosa and Tom Rhodes

THE WORLD’S leading producer of enzymes, Novozymes, is a biotechnology-based company with headquarters in Denmark. The company’s Franklinton, North Carolina facility employs approximately 400 people, and serves as its North American center.
Active in more than 20 countries, it has enzyme production sites in Denmark, Brazil, China and the United States. The Franklinton plant produces liquid and granulated enzymes, targeting markets that include the detergent, corn sweetener, fuel ethanol and food processing industries.
In May 2000, Novozymes received registration to ISO 14001. In February 2003 – recognizing the company’s commitment to superior environmental performance – the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) named Novozymes North America, Inc. the state’s first Environmental Steward. “We continuously strive to minimize resource consumption and environmental impacts related to our production by using best available technology, optimizing our processes, developing recycling schemes for waste materials and by controlling emissions and disposing waste in an environmentally sound manner in accordance with regulations and local requirements,” said Lee Yarbrough, former President of Novozymes North America, Inc. “We are committed to the ‘Triple-Bottom-Line’ concept of environmental, social and financial responsibility and we solicit the active involvement of all employees in meeting this commitment.”
Late in 2004, upon receiving a permit from NCDENR to compost source separated by-product materials, Novozymes North America Inc. began operations at its Nature’s GREEN-RELEAF TM compost and mulch production facility in Franklinton. Previously, Novozymes relied solely on land application as a means of utilizing its enzyme production residuals, but because of the extensive integration of an environmental management system and environmental performance goals into its business operations, it now composts a portion of these residuals.
In addition to its enzyme production residuals, the 50,000 tons/year capacity facility accepts clean wood wastes, yard trimmings, gypsum wallboard and food residuals. The food waste feedstocks include food prep residuals and postconsumer plate scrapings from the Novozymes’ North American Headquarters cafeteria, which serves 400 people per day, and spoiled produce from the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
Enzyme production residuals, a nitrogen source, are dewatered and deactivated, then transported to the compost facility. They are blended in a stationary electric Kuhn Knight mixer with high carbon feedstocks and placed on the production pad where windrows are formed. Food residuals are mixed into windrows daily.
Compost production and storage areas have a unique liner system (Figure 1) that allows collection of compost production leachate. The leachate is then recycled back into the compost process. Windrows are turned with a Backhus turner. The active composting phase is 60 days, followed by a minimum of 30 days of curing in windrows, and an additional 30 days in stockpiles.
Finished compost is screened with a McCloskey 516R trommel. All finished compost is tested as part of the U.S. Composting Council Seal of Testing Assurance Program. Nature’s GREEN-RELEAF also manufactures mulch products from clean recycled wood by-products. All compost and mulches are sold in bulk wholesale through distributors. Products include: Compost-soil conditioner screened to half-inch; Compost topdressing screened to three-eighth inch for use on lawns and in landscapes; A 50/50 blend of compost and native screened topsoil; Mulch grade compost, a mix of 10 percent compost fines and 90 percent wood mulch bulking material for use in compost filter socks in erosion control applications; and Designer colored mulch made from recycled hardwoods. The facility has a Rotochopper 266 grinder and colorizer.
With a design capacity to process 30,000 tons/year of feedstock for compost production and an additional 20,000 tons of feedstock for mulch products, the company is aggressively seeking additional materials. “That is why we are hoping that the new North Carolina Biomass Trader website (see sidebar) becomes an often-visited destination for everyone involved in North Carolina’s biomass industry,” says Frank Franciosi, Composting Department Manager. In the “Materials Wanted” section of the Biomass Trader, Franciosi has listed requests for significant quantities of salvage timber, limbs and brush, pallets and waxed corrugated cardboard.
Company staff has been active in educating the local community about the benefits of composting. They have built a two-bin system and taught students how to compost at nearby Youngsville Elementary School. In addition, Novozymes participates as a member of the Franklin County Solid Waste Task Force, educating members and county residents about the value of composting and compost use.
Matt Ewadinger is Manager of the North Carolina Recycling Business Assistance Center, a cooperative effort of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and the N.C. Department of Commerce. Brian Rosa is an Organics Recycling Specialist and Tom Rhodes is a Waste Reduction Specialist with NCDENR. For more information about Nature’s GREEN-RELEAFTM products and operations, please contact Frank Franciosi, NZNA’s Composting Department manager at (919) 494-3489 or visit their website at
NORTH Carolina is poised to become a dynamic marketplace for biomass materials such as wood, wood waste, energy crops, food residuals, grease and oil, agricultural waste and animal by-products. To help this marketplace develop, energy and fuel producers, composters and manufacturers of biobased products will need supplies to grow their business, just as agricultural, commercial and industrial generators of biomass and biomass waste will need outlets for their materials.
There has been a need for one place that everyone involved in North Carolina’s biomass economy could go to buy, sell and trade materials. Now that place exists with a new, free service called NC BiomassTrader. With a simple log-in process and easy-to-find listings of wanted and available materials, helps biomass suppliers and markets find each other. In addition to conducting valuable business through the website, participants in NC BiomassTrader can also find links to many sources of information and assistance on biomass issues.
Everyone involved in the production and use of biomass in North Carolina is encouraged to use and spread the word about NC BiomassTrader and help grow the state’s biomass market.

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