Reed-Sedge Peat Innovators
American Peat Technology (APT) is a Minnesota-based peat manufacturing company built by hardworking innovators who have unearthed the power of reed-sedge peat through their development of value-added, granulated peat products, serving several industries.
Peat is a slowly self-renewing and valuable natural resource with untapped potential, and we are committed to stewarding its use through the ongoing development of value-added products that address environmental issues.
Using a modern manufacturing process, we harvest, dry and granulate locally-sourced reed-sedge peat to create unique, natural peat products like BioAPT, the industry standard for granular peat-based Rhizobia carriers for soybean, lentil and peanut crops, and APTsorb, a granular media that is transforming the water remediation industry.
As the demand for natural peat products rises, we are seeking to expand our facilities in order to increase our production and better serve our customers.
For the economic and social benefit of our employees, shareholders, community and environment, we strive to thoughtfully and judiciously manage Minnesota’s natural resources by adding value to peat we harvest along with a clear plan for restoration of the harvested land.
Here are the top 8 ways we carry out our mission:
- We produce peat-based microbial carriers that are critical to the production of biotic nitrogen-enriching soil amendments.
- We produce water remediation media that sorbs (removes) heavy metals from wastewater and sequesters and concentrates the metals for further management.
- We compensate our employees with a fair wage and offer a generous benefits package.
- We encourage a safe work environment.
- We support the professional development of our employees through tuition reimbursement.
- We price our products in a fair, market-driven manner in order to realize sustained, long-term growth for our shareholders.
- We dedicate a percentage of our sales to community-building events and organizations that share our commitment to education, sustainability and vitality.
- We will continue to seek ways to further our sustainable approach to our production process through the use of engineering controls, renewable fuels and repurposed equipment.
American Peat Technology harvests, dries and granulates reed-sedge peat, using peat from a prior-converted peat deposit. The harvest area looks much like a farm field, and has, in fact, been in some sort of agricultural production since its conversion in the early 1900’s. In the harvest field, the peat is nearly saturated with water and looks much like fibrous top soil. By the time the peat leaves the APT production facility, it has been transformed into a granular material that looks like freeze-dried coffee and has a moisture content of about 12 percent.
In the Harvest Field:
The peat harvest area is about a mile from the APT processing plant. APT harvests peat through two primary methods. With the air-drying method, a portion of the 480-acre harvest area is cultivated throughout the summer to take advantage of drying caused by sun and wind, and the semi-dry peat is pushed into windrows. Each year, about 3 inches of peat is taken from the surface of the area being harvested. Then, in the winter months when ice roads can be built across the peat surface, the windrows are loaded into trailers and transported to the processing plant. Beginning in 2014, APT experimented with a second method that involves harvesting the peat to the maximum permitted depth. The primary benefit of the second method is that it is a more effective means of harvesting peat, and it also uses less energy inputs allowing for the staged restoration of the harvest area. APT harvests about 12 acres of peat per year and begins the reclaiming process to the harvested acres almost immediately.
Drying peat from its harvested moisture content of 80 percent down to the product moisture content of 12 percent requires large amounts of energy. APT is constantly seeking ways to produce heat in efficient and environmentally-friendly ways. APT’s primary source of energy for drying is solid fuel biomass. After a primary drying step, the peat is pelletized and crumbled to produce a granular microbial carrier that meets agricultural specifications. BioAPT is also available in a powdered form which has the same specifications as granular BioAPT but has a much smaller particle size.
APTsorb, our water remediation media, is manufactured from the BioAPT products. The patented process to produce APTsorb involves a heat treatment step that gives the media granular strength in wet applications while retaining the sorption characteristics of the parent peat. [Sorption is the process by which one substance takes up or holds another.] The APTsorb media can be chemically modified to provide other specialty media to address other contaminants of concern. In partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) APT is engaged in research to develop a sorption media that will remove anions such as sulfates from water. Additionally, APT and NRRI are building on the knowledge gained through the sulfate media project to investigate other possible media applications such as mercury, selenium and arsenic.
APT’s unique operation requires highly skilled and motivated employees. A strong team is the secret behind APT’s success, and the company is committed to providing fair wages, a safe workplace, and opportunities for employees to focus on growth and development.
APT offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental and life insurance, paid holidays off, and a 401 (K) savings plan with employer contributions.
Professional and Personal Development
APT encourages continued professional development through internal and external educational and training opportunities. A tuition reimbursement policy encourages employees to pursue further degrees or certificates. In addition, APT matches employee contributions to qualified charities and organizations.