GLRPPR Sector Resource: Bioenergy and Bioproducts Fact Sheet: VanderHaak Dairy Anaerobic Digester
Bioenergy and Bioproducts Fact Sheet: VanderHaak Dairy Anaerobic Digester
A growing number of dairy farmers are considering anaerobic digesters as an alternative method for managing animal manure. Ideally, these systems mitigate odor problems; protect water quality; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; improve the handling of manure nutrients; control most pathogens; and generate biogas (a low-grade natural gas) that can either be used to co-generate heat and electrical power or it can be scrubbed (separated into purified streams of the gases methane, CO2, and H2S) and compressed into a liquid fuel or used like natural gas as a base for any number of high-value products (ie. hydrogen, anhydrous ammonia, plastics, etc.). In addition to biogas, anaerobic digesters produce two raw material by-product streams, fiber and nutrient-rich liquid, that can be refined into higher value products creating new revenue streams for dairy farms. In addition there are opportunities for tipping fees to manage additional organic waste streams such as food waste. While these benefits are attractive a successful digester project requires a substantial financial and management commitment.
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