BIOGAS

Carbon prices required
to make digesters profitable on U.S. dairy farms of different sizes

biogas2009

Published by the University of Minnesota, January 2011, the objective of this analysis is to evaluate the impacts of three factors: 1.) Methane emission differences related to climate and manure storage type; 2.) Digester economies of size, and 3.) Electricity values on the minimum breakeven carbon dioxide (CO2) ‐equivalent methane (CH4) destruction prices that different‐sized dairy farms in different U.S. states would require to make anaerobic digester installation profitable.

The number of digesters that would be installed at different prices, and the resulting emission reductions and electrical generation are also estimated. Dairy cows are a significant source of the greenhouse gas methane, so anaerobic digesters are receiving policy attention as a climate change mitigation strategy.

Download the report. . .


Anaerobic Digestion: Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Energy Generation

This 16-page report was written by Kelsi Bracmort, an analyst in Agricultural Conservation and Natural Resources Policy at the Congressional Resarch Service (CRS).

The full CRS report (R40667), which was published Jan. 4, 2010, can be linked at:

Anaerobic Digestion: Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Energy Generation


USDA announces funding availability
for Conservation Innovation Grants

On January 16, 2009, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of funding for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).

Funds for single- or multi-year projects (not to exceed three years ) will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process, and applications will be accepted from all eligible non-federal government or non-government organizations or individuals.

CIG enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address pressing natural resource concerns.

Examples of target areas for this year's funding that are applicable to anaerobic digestion include:

• Improved On-Farm Energy Efficiency (e.g., biobased energy opportunities; methane recovery)

• Water Resources (e.g., innovative animal manure management systems)

Funding for CIG is made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

All proposed CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers.

CIG is not a research program, but rather a tool to stimulate the adoption of conservation approaches or technologies that have been studied sufficiently to indicate a high likelihood of success.

CIG will fund projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations.

Technologies and approaches that are commonly used in the geographic area covered by the application, and which are eligible for funding through EQIP, are not eligible for funding through CIG.

The federal contribution for a single project cannot exceed $2 million. At least 50 percent of the total cost of the project must come from non-federal matching funds (cash and in-kind contributions) provided by the grantee.

Applications must be received in the NRCS National Headquarters by close of business March 2, 2009.

The complete Announcement of Program Funding is available at:
www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig


Two Different Ways
of Funding Farm-Based Biogas Projects in California and Wisconsin

This 2002 report (by Kevin Porter, Exeter Associates, and
Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger, of the Berkeley Laboratory) examines the differrent funding approaches to biogas project in California and Wisconsin

California and Wisconsin are the two leading dairy producing states in the nation.

Both states are interested in developing biogas projects from livestock manure, but have targeted their renewable energy application differently.

California has allocated nearly $10 million in incentives and grants as a catalyst for dairy operations to further biogas systems in the state.

Wisconsin has a more modest financial incentive and is relying more extensively on education and outreach and other regulatory mechanisms to encourage biogas facilities.

Read the report. . .


For some additional information about the growth in biogas systems in Wisconsin, read this release from Wis. Focus on Energy:


Focus on Energy News Release



agstar banner

The Spring 2009 Online AgSTAR Digest is now published for viewing.

This is an excellent resource for information about biogas digesters and upcoming events. Click here . . .



Methane oxidation underestimated
in landfill cover soils

Landfilled waste decomposes in the absence of oxygen and results in the production of methane.

Landfills are classified as the second-largest human-made source of CH4 in the U.S.

Landfill gas also contains numerous non-methane hydrocarbons that are either volatilized directly from waste materials or produced through biochemical reactions during waste degradation.

Microbial methane oxidation reduces the emissions of methane and other volatile hydrocarbons from landfills. Determining the importance of this process is one of the major uncertainties in estimating national or global CH4 emissions from landfills. Read more . . .



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Wisconsin Agricultural Biogas Casebook (2009)

biogas2009

This updated November 2009 report offers excellent and concise overviews (along with some history) of the 21 operating anaerobic digester (AD) systems in Wisconsin (at the time this report was published).

The 93-page report offers good background on how these AD systems are working in Wisconsin.

In addition, the digester owners have generously shared experiences, ideas and innovations that may prove invaluable to those evaluating similar options for their farms.

The report was prepared by Joe Kramer, of the Energy Center of Wisconsin, for the Wiscosin Focus on Energy program.

Read the report (2.5 MB). . .

Links to previous reports can be found below.


Biomethane
from Dairy Waste

A Sourcebook
for the Production and Use
of Renewable Natural Gas
in California

This 282-page report published in 2005 examines the feasibility of producing biomethane from dairy manure.

It investigated a number of possible technologies for producing renewable forms of energy and fuel from dairy wastes as well as applications and markets for these products.

Although some of the applications proved to be technically or economically infeasible at the time the report was published, the reports' authors say that the information could still prove useful for other investigators or future studies.

With this in mind, the sourcebook was designed for readers and investigators interested in exploring alternate uses of biogas created from dairy wastes.

Read the report (1.9 MB). . .


Wisconsin Agricultural Biogas Casebook (2008)

This updated July 2008 report offers excellent and concise overviews (along with some history) of the 17 operating anaerobic digester (AD) systems in Wisconsin (at the time this report was published).

The 67-page report offers good background on how these AD systems are working in Wisconsin.

In addition, the digester owners have generously shared experiences, ideas and innovations that may prove invaluable to those evaluating similar options for their farms.

The report was prepared by Joe Kramer, of the Energy Center of Wisconsin, for the Wiscosin Focus on Energy program.

biogas casebook

Read the report (2.27 MB). . .


Note: Wisconsin now leads the nation in the total number of operating on-farm anaerobic digestion systems.

CLICK HERE to see a Power Point slide, which was prepared by Wis. Focus on Energy, showing very general locations of biogas digesters in Wisconsin.


Great Lakes States:
Agricultural Biogas Casebook – 2004 Update

The purpose of this casebook is to provide an overview of on-farm Anaerobic Digestion (AD) systems in the Great Lakes states.

These systems are explained and include information on technologies, practices, inputs, outputs and owner experiences.

If you plan to install an AD system, this information can help you make informed choices by benefiting from other producers' experiences.

2004 biogas casebook

Read the report. . .


Draft protocol available
on greenhouse gas offsets

According to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) AgSTAR program, the EPA Draft Climate Leaders Offset Project Methodology for Captured Methane End Use is available on line.

EPA has developed several Climate Leaders Offset Project Methodologies that use a standardized approach to determine project eligibility, address additionality, select and set the baseline, identify monitoring options, and quantify reductions.

This approach seeks to ensure that the GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emission reductions from offset projects meet four key accounting principles: they must be real, additional, permanent, and verifiable.

In August 2008, EPA released a draft offset project methodology which addresses the displacement of fossil fuel through the end use of captured methane from landfills or manure digesters, providing measurement and monitoring guidance for these activities.

The draft protocol for Captured Methane End Use is available for comment at: GHG Protocol

Also available at the above link are additional offsets accounting methodologies, including a methodology for Managing Manure with Biogas Recovery Systems, which has been updated to include updated emission factors consistent with the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006.




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for Farm Energy News.co

To have news and other pertinent information considered for publication on FARM ENERGY NEWS.COM, please follow the basic and detailed guidelines found at: Submit Your News

 

 

Waste not, want not

Utility co-ownership speeds the payback
on a Wisconsin biogas digester

By Karl Ohm

About five years ago when dairy farmers Gale Gordon and his son, Kyle, built modern, free-stall facilities with a double-14 herringbone milking parlor they included a biogas, or methane, digester. Adding one later for their 900 cows near Nelsonville, Wisconsin would be too costly.

“We saw the biogas digester as a great way to complement the operation since it could generate energy and help save bedding and fertilizer costs,” says Gale.  It also improves nutrient management and control of odors and flies.

The digester’s methane powers an 8-cylinder Caterpillar 3408 reciprocating engine that runs an electricity generator. The in-ground, insulated digester, which was designed and built by GHD, Inc., of Chilton, Wis., holds 650,000 gallons and produces about 65 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of methane.

“That’s enough volume for the engine and generator to crank out more than 130 kilowatts (kw) of electricity,” says Gale. “We’re delivering enough electricity on the grid to help provide power to more than 125 homes.”

Gale and Kyle Gordon (right) stand on their 650,000-gallon plug flow digester. It’s 108 feet long, 65 feet wide and 14 feet deep. Manure flows through it in 18-20 days.
Photo: Karl Ohm

Alliant Energy owns and maintains the engine and generator, which can be nearly a third of a system’s total price. “Essentially, we’re just selling the methane gas to the utility,” says Gale.

The farm is paid 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour generated and delivered to Alliant’s power transmission system.

Once the manure is digested, the leftover, nutrient-rich effluent is pumped to a lagoon and applied later to cropland to reduce fertilizer costs. The coarse solids in the manure are squeezed out with an expeller screw-type press and used as an excellent and sanitary bedding material in the free-stall barns.

Savings bring quick payback

If you add up all the benefits, Gale says the biogas digester has generated income and energy savings of about $75,000 per year.

“We aimed for a payback period of about six years,” he says. “So far, we seem to be very well on track since our initial outlay was slightly more than $300,000.”

When their project was built in 2001, it received no grants to help offset initial costs. That’s another factor that can affect the payback period.

Today, however, there are more state and federal renewable energy grant and loan opportunities available to livestock producers to help offset some of the costs, especially for the engine and generator equipment.

“When I talk to other dairy producers, I tell them to expect a range of $800 to perhaps $1,000 per cow when calculating a very rough estimate on what a biogas system may cost,” he says.

Bedding cost savings, odor control, better nutrient management and environmental benefits were also very important. About 35 tons of separated solids from the digester are used for bedding each week, saving the dairy $60,000 a year. They  also sell some of the solids to area gardeners.

The Gordons’ dairy operation uses about 2,000 acres for corn silage and grain, about 800 acres for alfalfa (on a three- to four-year rotation), and 400 acres for soybeans and other grains.

“The biogas digester also helps in managing the manure and nutrients better,” says Gale. “What it boils down to is that you have a more manageable amount of phosphorus in the effluent for field applications,” explains Gale.

“This liquid fertilizer is either knifed in or broadcasted and then worked into the soil. It’s also broadcasted on growing crops, such as alfalfa and corn. In making those applications, however, we still rely on regular soil testing coupled with cropping maps to avoid nutrient overloading.”

“Most of the organic nitrogen in the manure is converted to ammonia,” says Gale. “When broadcasting, the liquid effluent doesn’t burn the crops, and the nutrient uptake or utilization appears to be real good.”

Gale estimates that the digested manure and effluent have helped trim out-of-pocket fertilizer expenses by about 25%. “In fact, during the past couple of cropping seasons, we actually side-dressed some of the corn with the liquid effluent.”

Dramatic pathogen reduction

Digested manure also helps control fecal forms of bacteria like coliform and streptococcus. Pathogens don’t last long under the anaerobic and high temperature conditions inside the digester and where the hydraulic retention time may be about 18 to 20 days.

Retention refers to the time from when manure first enters the digester and to when it exits the digester.

“This is a tremendous benefit for us in managing manure, says Gale. “It’s remarkable that a biogas digester can kill about 99% of the coliform bacteria. Plus, another added benefit is that we’ve experienced a marked reduction in weed seed germination or viability, such as with velvet leaf, common lambsquarter, and giant foxtail.”

A bonus: curbing greenhouse gas

The digester also mitigates methane that is a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide. The reduction in methane emissions, on a carbon dioxide equivalent basis, has been estimated at about 3 tons per cow/year.

Electricity generated from biogas also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by displacing fossil fuels that otherwise would be used to produce power.

“In the near future, we plan to aggregate our carbon credits with other biogas digester operations and sell them on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX),” says Gale. “We plan to explore these details with the CCX, which fully administers this unique program.”

“Biogas digesters are definitely beginning to usher dairy farming into a value-added and dynamic marketplace,” says Gale. “There’s no question in my mind that this technology will tremendously benefit our industry in the years ahead by generating new revenue streams and producing great environmental benefits. It already has on our farm.”



Learn more
The AgSTAR Program, a joint EPA, USDA and Dept. of Energy project. Website includes info on state and U.S. grants.  
www.epa.gov/agstar

MAIN DIGESTER TYPES

Anaerobic digestion is decomposition of organic matter by anaerobic bacteria that live without oxygen. They can be found in pond and swamp bottoms.

The two widely used digesters are:

Plug Flow Digester. This has a tank or covered trough (poured concrete) with either an expandable or fixed cover and is insulated on the outside.

It gets the name, “plug flow”, because fresh manure (usually with 11% to14% solids) goes into one end of the digester, displacing older, fully digested manure out the other.

On the Gordons’ farm, from the time that fresh manure first enters the digester after daily scraping of the barns, it undergoes digestion for 18 to 20 days before exiting and going through an expeller screw press to separate out solids for bedding.

Complete Mix Digester.
This is usually a cylindrical, insulated tank (above or below ground) that digests manure containing 2% to 10% solids, especially hog and dairy manure from flush systems.

A mechanical or gas-mixing system keeps the solids in suspension and aids digestion. These digesters may be more expensive due to the large size that’s needed for water from a flush system.

Reprinted from Successful Farming®.
© Copyright 2006 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.



Michigan State Univ. leverages public, private funds
for farm waste-to-energy project

EAST LANSING, Mich. State and foundation grants exceeding $3 million will assist Michigan State University (MSU) researchers in developing technology for smaller farms to turn animal waste into usable heat, electricity and other valuable products.

MSU’s planned Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center will consolidate new and existing programs in a planned 3,280-square-foot building south of campus, at MSU’s expanding farm animal and environmental research complex.

Researchers aim to develop and commercialize turn-key digester/microturbine modules for affordable waste-to-power systems for small and mid-sized farms.

“The initiating of the center completes our vision for a continuum of research capabilities from theoretical calculations, laboratory-scale, bench-scale, pilot-scale and farm-scale anaerobic digestion research," said Steven Safferman, the center’s director and an associate professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

steven safferman msu MSU researcher Steven Safferman with an anaerobic digester of the sort his team hopes to mate with power generators to produce power from animal waste.
Photo: G.L. Kohuth / MSU

A two-year, $1.5 million Michigan Public Service Commission research grant “recognizes MSU’s strong capacity to address the critical issues of sustainability of animal agriculture and the need for renewable energy and economic development in Michigan,” department chairperson Ajit Srivastava said.

An additional three-year grant totaling $1.5 million from a private southeastern Michigan foundation to build the facility and fund new programs “is an excellent example of how universities and foundations can work together to address critical issues of society such as food, environment and energy,” Srivastava added. The foundation prefers to remain anonymous.

Farm waste management is a growing issue due to concerns over food contamination, pollutant runoff, odor and, most recently, greenhouse gas emissions. Petrochemical cost spikes, meanwhile, have added to farmers’ costs for fertilizer and fuel.

The MSU ADRE Center will develop ways to efficiently convert manure liquid into methane for heat and electricity while extracting fiber for soil enrichment or ethanol manufacture and water for irrigation. Other valuable output could include animal feed and algae, which can be processed into biofuels.

Anaerobic digestion is not a new concept, and has been applied in recent years by some large dairy farms to generate power. Development of scalable, modular systems could allow smaller farms, those with fewer than 500 head of cattle, to convert waste into valuable resources.

Despite the loss of two-thirds of U.S. dairies since 1988, such smaller operations still account for 53 percent of the 71,510 remaining and 48 percent of U.S. milk production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The enhanced revenues and reduced pollution from the proposed system will significantly improve the quality of life and health of residents in rural communities and turn an environmental and economic liability into a public and private asset,” said project lead investigator Wei Liao, an assistant professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering.

“It is our hope that success at this level will lead to extensive applications of similar technology throughout Michigan and the nation.”

A large-scale anaerobic digester at the Scenic View Dairy in Fennville, Michigan. biogas units
Photo: Biosystems and Agricultural Eng.

The ADRE Center is also expected to conduct contract testing of related equipment and processes to help support itself, and to house a recently created farm energy auditing program that could conduct digester/power system feasibility studies for dairy clients. It is slated for completion by mid- to late 2009.

"Agricultural operations are extensive energy users. Most can reduce their energy use, sometimes even resulting in increased production, by adopting new high-efficiency technologies,” said MSU professor Truman Surbrook, who is managing director of the Michigan Agricultural Electric Council.

“Advances in this field are occurring at such a rapid pace that it is hard for producers to keep up without the assistance of highly trained personnel such as Michigan's certified farm energy auditors.”

The farm energy audit program is supported by a two-year, $250,000 grant, also from the private foundation. MSU will contribute another $230,000 toward the cost of managing and operating the ADRE Center.

For more detail on the MSU ADRE facility, its funding and background on anaerobic digestion, click to: www.egr.msu.edu/age/. The Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering is affiliated with the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and College of Engineering.



Contact: Steven Safferman, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Office: (517) 432-0812, safferma@msu.edu; or Ajit Srivastava, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Office: (517) 353-7268, srivasta@msu.edu






Harnessing manure's value
with methane gas digesters

Research and better system designs lead to renewed interest
in converting manure into energy and more useful fertilizer

By Karl Ohm

In the near future, agriculture appears poised to becoming a significant, if not major, energy producer that could usher in a more sustainable type economy, according to key researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

New research with enzymes at Cornell University, for example, shows promise in making it much more economical to convert biomass, such as corn stover and other plant materials, into fuel.

For livestock farmers, advancements in molecular biology and bacteriology have also begun to rekindle interest in converting manure into methane or biogas that can power electric generators.

Refinements are also being made in the design of the methane gas digesters and related equipment used to process and transform this valuable resource into value-added products.

Manure can be transformed into biogas through "anaerobic digestion," says Lut Raskin, University of Illinois civil and environmental engineer. This is nothing new. However, anaerobic digesters have come a long way since the 1970s, and U of I researchers have embarked on new research that aims to refine the process even further.

Producing biogas

In the anaerobic digestion process, bacteria break down organic matter very quickly in an oxygen-free environment. Unlike a lagoon, it is a closed system, so methane is contained and is, therefore, a usable fuel.

The system also seals in odorous gases or vapors. The ability to reduce odors is another reason why methane gas digesters are being seriously looked at today by farmers whose operations are near populated areas.

What's more, the fertilizer produced with an anaerobic digester is very stable and degrades slowly over time. And if Raskin and fellow researchers are successful, a digester will also be able to extract phosphorus from manure, allowing it to be used or sold separately.

The Anaerobic Sequencing Batch Reactor (ASBR), developed at Iowa State University, is a new digester that shows great promise for efficient and reliable processing of manure. Its biggest advantage over previous designs is its size, says Raskin. It is small, but can be used at the same loading rates as larger systems.

Hypothetically, if all the manure produced annually in Iowa from 20 million head of swine were processed through ASBR, the result would be a methane value of $40 million. At current market prices, the nitrogen in Iowa's swine manure would translate to about $60 million in fertilizer.

While these numbers are impressive, says Raskin, it is unlikely that pork producers or dairy farmers will invest in an anaerobic digester unless they are sure that it is reliable and affordable. An on-farm cost-benefit analysis of ASBR is on-going.

Raskin's team, partially funded by the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, aims to build on the promise of this technology by further reducing ASBR's operating costs and increasing the value of its products.

For example, separating out the phosphorus in manure provides environmental and economic advantages. Typically, farmers apply manure to ensure sufficient nitrogen for the crops. But in the process of applying enough manure to provide adequate nitrogen levels, they may over-apply phosphorus.

If nitrogen and phosphorus can be measured separately, this problem can be avoided.

Also, phosphorus extracted from manure can be sold to industry. Mining of phosphorus is becoming increasingly difficult and supply is limited. So industry and government efforts to recover phosphorus have recently begun to intensify, says Raskin. Animal manure is high in this nutrient and is a cheap resource.

One way to reduce the cost of a digester is to reduce its start-up time. It takes months for bacteria to multiply to the point where the anaerobic digester is up and running. If the start-up time is during colder seasons, a heater may be required.

By trying different sources of bacteria in the digester, Raskin says he hopes to find the fastest start-up route. With a quick start-up time, methane will be produced sooner, lowering operating costs in the first few months, and maybe even lowering the initial investment, if a heater is not necessary.

An early pioneer

Fairgrove Farms, a 650-plus cow dairy operation based near Sturgis, Michigan was one of the early pioneers in methane gas digestion. In 1981, John Pueschel and his brother, David, constructed a plug-flow digester system for about $150,000 that holds 120,000 gallons of manure.

John Pueschel (shown here), and his brother, David, dairy farmers from Sturgis, Michigan, were early pioneers in using a biogas digester system. They installed one back in 1981.
Photo: Karl Ohm

Manure is scraped twice daily from the free-stall barns into a below grade pit that transfers the manure into a underground V-shaped concrete tank. Designed by Perennial Energy, of Iowa, and modified by the Pueschel brothers, a plug-flow digester essentially allows fresh manure to come in one end while older digested manure is slowly pushed out the opposite end of the tank.

The methane is used to power an engine to produce electricity which has been saving, on the average, the farm $4,000 to $5,000 monthly in energy costs.  John says that the payback for the system was about four to five years. The big pluses of the system have been electricity cost savings, reduced odors and fly problems from manure and better fertilizer value, according to John.

Once fully digested, the manure effluent is transferred via a pipeline to a centrifuge where it is separated into solid and liquid fractions.

Solids reclaimed have a sawdust-like consistency and is used as an odor-free stall bedding material. John says the material has helped reduced mastitis when compared to conventional bedding materials. John also estimates that the dairy has reduced bedding expenses by as much as $3,000 monthly.

The liquid effluent flows by gravity into a storage lagoon and is spread directly on fields as fertilizer, using a boom system for better coverage. The liquid fertilizer is usually applied at rates up to 5,000 gallons per acre, which offsets the need for 100 lbs. of nitrogen, 25 lbs. of phosphate, and 100 lbs. of potassium. John estimates a savings of $25 to $30 per acre in fertilizer costs.

An integrated approach

Taking an integrated approach to the production of renewable energy has been the focus of PRIME Technologies, LLC, of South Dakota. It recently received $402,500 from the Value-Added Ag Subfund to study the feasibility of combining a beef feedlot, ethanol plant, anaerobic digesters and feed processing into one operation.

"Combining these four operations is a completely new concept," says Ron Wheeler, commissioner, Governor's Office of Economic Development. "People have combined feedlots with ethanol plants, but adding the other two elements gives it a whole new dimension."

The proposed facility would sit on 320 acres in southern Sully County. The integrated, environmentally sound, complex would include four distinct operations.

"This project is a good opportunity for our beef and corn producers in that is allows them to capture almost 100 percent of the value to their products," says Larry Gabriel, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture. "A major goal of the Governor's Office of Economic Development is to enhance value-added agricultural opportunities in South Dakota. This project would certainly do that," Wheeler says.

According to Wheeler, capital investment on the project would be nearly $40 million. The project would use approximately 8 million bushels of corn and feed 65,000 - 75,000 head of local feeder cattle yearly. "Additionally, producers could see an increase of 10 to 20 cents a bushel in corn prices. Local tax revenues would increase and up to 50 new jobs could be created," Wheeler says.

The PRIME Technologies project is the largest project to be funded by the Agricultural Subfund. "As the awareness of this fund grows, we are seeing more and bigger projects being presented," Wheeler says. "We are pleased with the results to date and are optimistic this fund will continue to benefit South Dakota agricultural producers."

AgSTAR Program is resource
on methane gas digesters

In 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA)  and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the AgSTAR Program designed to promote cost-effective and efficient methods to reduce methane emissions from manure management.

Focusing largely on dairy and swine operations, one of the program's main goals is to assist farmers in partnering and allying with key firms well-versed in the areas of digester design, electrical interfacing, manure management and by-products.

To find out more about this unique program, please contact:

EPA AgSTAR Program
401 M Street, S.W. (6202J)
Washington, D.C. 20460

AgSTAR hotline number: 1-800-95-AGSTAR



Editor's Note: This dairy operation in southern Michigan was one of the first in the country to install a biogas digester system. This story was first published by in late December 2000. I'm republishing this story to recognize the early pioneers in biogas digester systems.