SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods’ Hog Production Division, Murphy-Brown LLC, is partnering with Tyton BioEnergy Systems with the goal of protecting the environment while improving economic efficiency.

Smithfield is teaming with Murphy-Brown LLC and Tyton BioEnergy Systems in a research partnership to develop new applications for Tyton’s dedicated, non-smoking tobacco crop and the resulting soil amendment, filtration and feed products within Smithfield's hog production processes.

The two companies are establishing field trials with non-smoking tobacco using hog manure as fertilizer. “High absorption rates of hog-fertilizer by non-smoking tobacco would enhance environmental outcomes and assist Tyton in obtaining lower-cost fertilizer for its industrial crop,” according to a press release. “In addition, the companies are pursuing the development of ethanol products using tobacco as raw material rather than corn.”

“This innovative project is a great opportunity for us, and we are excited to be collaborating with Tyton BioEnergy Systems,” said Gregg Schmidt, president of Smithfield’s Hog Production Division. “We are always seeking novel ways to manage hog manure that demonstrate continual improvement, and we are also excited about the opportunity to pursue the development of ethanol options that utilize tobacco as their primary raw material source.”

Smithfield and Tyton also will develop applications for Tyton’s tobacco-based biochar and activated carbon products, which can be used for filtration, land remediation and soil amendment purposes. Additional research activities with Tyton are planned as part of the partnership.

“Through our partnership in Virginia and North Carolina, Tyton and Smithfield can develop new applications for non-smoking tobacco to deliver value to farmers, value to the agriculture industry and protect the environment,” said Peter Majeranowski, president of Tyton BioEnergy. “We see it as a responsibility to secure America’s food, energy and environmental futures, and we are so pleased to be working with Smithfield who joins us in advancing towards these goals.”