Food-Grade Compressed Air System for Industry-Leading Vertical Farming Company
John Bouchard Sons Co. subcontracted with Darana Mechanical to supply the food-grade compressed air system for 80 Acre Farms’ new vertical farming facility in Northern Kentucky.
Through innovations in agricultural technology, 80 Acres Farm has challenged traditional farming through its use of indoor hydroponic farming facilities. By growing plants within a controlled environment, they can use 95% less water, 97% less fertilizer, and run on 100% renewable energy. Additionally, their high-production facilities are monitored 24/7 by sensors, with a majority of the work being done by robots, which allows for year-round production.
Since its formation in 2015, 80 Acres Farms has strived to reduce greenhouse gases produced through farming, eliminate pesticides, and use non-GMO seeds, all while reducing and donating excess food waste.
In 2022, the mechanical contractor for the 80 Acre Farms project, Darana Mechanical, reached out to JBS for assistance in designing and supplying the FDA-compliant compressed air system. Because this facility will be an indoor commercial garden and fed by automated systems operated by compressed air, our system is required to adhere to FDA standards, from the filtration to the food-grade oil. Mitigating risk of food contamination is a must.
JBS supplied a comprehensive compressed air system, including a Gardner Denver AirStation™ compressor with an onboard refrigerated dryer, as well as an external mist eliminator and Parker TW series heatless desiccant air dryer. The additional desiccant dryer is necessary to prevent bacteria growth that otherwise would be caused by moisture introduced during the air compression process. The modular dryer’s compact design also allowed for the system to be installed in a compact, consolidated space.
This project marks significant innovation in the food industry with full indoor automation. The facility includes a high-tech indoor vertical farm and harvesting, packaging, and distribution capabilities for leafy greens, micro greens, berries, and tomatoes. Once fully operational, the controlled-environment farm will produce millions of servings of local, fresh produce for the surrounding area. In a fully automated plant, where electric actuators and digital systems are in place to scale back all possible manpower, compressed air is often a critical utility. And when compressed air is needed, JBS has the right experience, the right knowledge, and the right products to provide the best solution.