Anaerobic Digestion
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has awarded $69.9 million in grant funding to 40 dairy digester projects across the state. These projects, part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP), will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy farms.

Dairy manure produces methane when it decomposes. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps more than 80 times as much heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Dairy digesters help capture methane emissions, which can be used to produce electricity or natural gas.

"Dairy operations in California continue to step up to ensure the agriculture sector contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation. These collaborative efforts between the State, dairy operations and developers are making California a national and international leader in supporting on-farm methane reductions using climate-smart agriculture management approaches that also generate renewable energy," said CDFA secretary Karen Ross.

Financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state's climate goals.

CDFA and other state agencies are investing these proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide additional benefits to California communities. Dairy digester grant recipients will provide an estimated $95.5 million in matching funds for the development of their projects.

Information about the 2018 Dairy Digester Research and Development Program projects is available at www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/dd.
Published in News
Findings by a team of University of B.C. wastewater engineering researchers at the Okanagan campus have revealed a low-cost solution to many of the problems plaguing anaerobic digesters used by municipalities.

Anaerobic digesters are seen as a popular solution to wastewater treatment as they offer the potential for producing green energy and associated products.

Anaerobic digestion uses a series of biological micro-organism processes to break down wastewater material to produce biogas, which can then be combusted to generate electricity and heat, or can be further processed into renewable natural gas or transportation fuels. Dewatered material can also be used for compost. | READ MORE
Published in News
A family is turning the hog manure into methane to power the family farm, reduce greenhouse emissions and generate income.

Lisa and Drew Remley of Remley Farms held an open house to unveil the new 20,000-gallon anaerobic methane digester.

Power from the biodigester power will reduce the farm's $3,000-$3,500 monthly electric bill. | READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
This February was the celebration of a great partnership of California dairies and California Bioenergy (CalBio).
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
You can think of an anaerobic digester as a big metal stomach. Biodegradables go in, get composted, and turned into energy. And now, the hope is that the waste turns into a profit.

Matthew Freund, president of Freund's Farm in East Canaan, said that anaerobic digestion technology let him diversify his business. A unit built in 1997 took in cow manure and allowed him to create a new product: biodegradable seed planters called "CowPots." | READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
Installation and construction are complete on a DVO Inc. anaerobic digester at Ar-Joy Farm, a dairy farm in Cochranville, Pennsylvania.

This is DVO's first installation in Pennsylvania, bringing the number of states with a DVO digester to 19. Its patented digester system has also been constructed in six foreign countries.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a collection of processes by which naturally occurring microorganisms transform waste into valuable byproducts in a controlled, oxygen-free environment.

DVO's patented Two-Stage Linear Vortex anaerobic digester is unlike any other technology. Traditional AD technologies featuring above-ground tanks are inefficient and costly to operate.

"We are honored to be working with Marilyn and Duane Hershey (owners of Ar-Joy), a couple long admired in their community and acclaimed in the dairy industry for their advocacy and leadership. Marilyn serves as chair of Dairy Management, Inc. and in 2017 was named Dairy Woman of the Year at the World Dairy Expo. Duane serves on the Land O'Lakes Board of Directors," said Steve Dvorak, president of DVO. "We know they are dedicated to environmental sustainability and are proud they chose to implement DVO's digester technology."

The DVO anaerobic digester processes the waste from Ar-Joy's 700 milking cows, as well as local organic waste streams. Currently the farm is adding waste from a potato chip company three times a week and is seeking additional feedstocks for the digester.

The biogas generated from the waste streams is powering a 300-kW gen-set which delivers renewable electricity to the local grid. The farm has a net-metering program with its local utility which allows the farm to lower its electrical costs by off-setting the power from its electrical meters. Any excess generated power not used by the dairy is sold to the utility.

The dairy is utilizing the separated digested solids for bedding, having previously bedded with sand. The digested liquid is stored in a lagoon to be applied as fertilizer on to growing crops, increasing crop yield and reducing the likelihood of nutrient runoff.

"The digester provides us a variety of environmental benefits, such as producing power and recycling waste. A big driver for us was the ability to expand our operation and bring in additional revenue without adding cows," explained Duane Hershey. "The community response to our digester has been real positive. When the neighbors come down and see it, they get excited. They all say we need more of these digesters on farms."

Learn more about DVO's solutions for agricultural wastes and renewable energy here, http://www.dvoinc.com/

Published in Anaerobic Digestion
Marin County, Calif. - On one organic dairy farm, the feed truck runs on cow power.

"I was able to put together a fully electric truck to feed the cows that's powered by the cow's waste. We claim that's the first one in the world to do that," says Albert Straus, CEO of Straus Family Creamery in Marin County, California.

When cow manure breaks down, it releases methane, a potent global warming gas. But that methane can be captured and used to make electricity. Using technology called a methane digester, Strauss has been converting his cow's manure into energy for the last 14 years. The process produces enough electricity to power the whole farm. And now, that energy is also being used to charge his electric truck. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
Bath Township, OH - Renergy Inc., held an open house on in mid-March at its Dovetail Energy LLC Bioenergy Facility in Bath Township and provided tours for several hours so residents could experience first-hand the technology being used there.

Cari Oberfield, marketing strategist for Renergy Inc., who attended the open house, said the waste processed at the anaerobic digestion facility consists of 70 percent food waste from commercial manufacturing, 20 percent biosolids and one percent hog manure. | READ MORE
Published in News
Calgren Dairy Fuels is becoming known as a world leader in biogas production and utilization, with good reason. Of the 18 dairy digester projects that were recently awarded more than $35 million in funding by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, seven of them involve Calgren.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
For a team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln chemical and biomolecular engineering students, biogas refining isn’t just a senior design capstone project, it’s a potential means of supplying Nebraska’s rural communities with a renewable source of energy that comes from resources that are both local and plentiful.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
Nutrient management plans are all but required on most large farms these days in the United States, which is why it is not so uncommon anymore for dairy farms with multiple locations to have more than one anaerobic digester to treat their raw manure.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
Farm manure could be a viable source of renewable energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing technology to produce renewable natural gas from manure so it can be added to the existing energy supply system for heating homes and powering industries. That would eliminate particularly harmful gases released by naturally decomposing manure when it is spread on farm fields as fertilizer and partially replace fossil natural gas, a significant contributor to global warming.

"There are multiple ways we can benefit from this single approach," said David Simakov, a professor of chemical engineering at Waterloo. "The potential is huge."

Simakov said the technology could be viable with several kinds of manure, particularly cow and pig manure, as well as at landfill sites.

In addition to being used by industries and in homes, renewable natural gas could replace diesel fuel for trucks in the transportation sector, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

To test the concept, researchers built a computer model of an actual 2,000-head dairy farm in Ontario that collects manure and converts it into biogas in anaerobic digesters. Some of that biogas is already used to produce electricity by burning it in generators, reducing the environmental impact of manure while also yielding about 30 to 40 percent of its energy potential.

Researchers want to take those benefits a significant step further by upgrading, or converting, biogas from manure into renewable natural gas. That would involve mixing it with hydrogen, then running it through a catalytic converter. A chemical reaction in the converter would produce methane from carbon dioxide in the biogas.

Known as methanation, the process would require electricity to produce hydrogen, but that power could be generated on-site by renewable wind or solar systems, or taken from the electrical grid at times of low demand. The net result would be renewable natural gas that yields almost all of manure's energy potential and also efficiently stores electricity, but has only a fraction of the greenhouse gas impact of manure used as fertilizer.

"This is how we can make the transition from fossil-based energy to renewable energy using existing infrastructure, which is a tremendous advantage," said Simakov, who collaborates with fellow chemical engineering professor Michael Fowler.

The modelling study showed that a $5-million investment in a methanation system at the Ontario farm would, with government price subsidies for renewable natural gas, have about a five-year payback period.

A paper on modelling of a renewable natural gas generation facility at the Ontario farm, which also involved a post-doctoral researcher and several Waterloo students, was recently published in the International Journal of Energy Research.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
March 2, 2018, Wooster, OH — A rural community in northcentral Ohio is divided over plans to build a 10 million gallon waste lagoon on a farm north of Wooster.

Quasar Energy, which operates the anaerobic digester on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, plans to construct the storage pond. The earthen-lined lagoon would hold both anaerobically digested biosolids and up to 300,000 gallons of hog manure annually from the landowner’s hog farm, according to the permit application.

Supporters say it will provide a source of organic fertilizer. Opponents fear it could lead to issues with groundwater contamination, odor and traffic. READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
February 9, 2018, Yuma, CO – An anaerobic digester plant that would covert animal waste into a usable energy source, among other things, is being planned for south of Yuma.

Sheldon Kye Energy and Harvest Operating LLC are teaming up to develop the digester. Both companies are headquartered in the metro Denver area. Brian Johnson is heading up the project for Sheldon Kye Energy, and Alan Nackerud is the Harvest Operating representative. READ MORE
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
February 8, 2018, Sacramento, CA – Renewable Dairy Fuels (RDF), a business unit of Amp Americas, recently announced that construction is underway on the country’s largest on-farm anaerobic digester-to- vehicle fuel operation.

Located in Fair Oaks, Indiana, the dairy project will be the company’s second biogas facility producing renewable natural gas from dairy waste for transportation fuel.

Amp Americas received the first dairy waste-to-vehicle fuel pathway certified by California's Air Resources Board (CARB) for its first RNG project at Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana. The project was also awarded a Carbon Intensity (CI) score of -254.94 gCO2e/MJ, the lowest ever issued by CARB.

In addition to generating renewable American energy, on-farm anaerobic digester operations improve sustainability, environmental stewardship and energy independence.

The new facility will be 50 percent larger than RDF’s operation at Fair Oaks Farms and will be operational this summer. The site is located in Jasper County, IN, just a few miles from Fair Oaks Farms.

Every day, three digesters located at three dairy farms will convert 950 tons of dairy waste from 16,000 head of milking cows into 100 percent renewable transportation fuel. The RNG will then be injected into the NIPSCO pipeline.

Each of the digesters is a DVO, Inc. designed and built Mixed Plug Flow digester.

“Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S., and a major source of smog-causing pollution,” said Grant Zimmerman, CEO at Amp Americas. “It is more important than ever to drive further adoption of clean and efficient domestic RNG within the trucking industry. There isn’t enough RNG being produced to meet customer demand. Our new project will help make strong headway toward closing the supply gap.”

Amp Americas continues to expand its national footprint and to invest heavily in dairy RNG projects by partnering with dairy farmers across the country to bring more ultra-low CI gas to market. The company plans to more than double its dairy gas output by mid-2018, and aims to deliver Amp Renew, its 100 percent RNG product, to all 20 of its fueling stations as it brings on future projects.
Published in Biogas
January 23, 2018, Portland, OR – Climate Trust Capital, a U.S.-based private investment fund, has closed on a carbon investment in the biogas sector –the Carlos Echeverria and Sons Dairy (CE&S) biogas project.

Approximately $1.12 million of Climate Trust Capital’s Fund I was invested in a covered lagoon digester that will destroy methane and produce carbon offsets under California’s cap and trade system.

The investment is based on the anticipated 10-year value of carbon credits from a livestock digester project located at the Carlos Echeverria and Sons Dairy, a large farm in California’s Central Valley. Project partner, California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), has built three other dairy digester projects, including California’s largest, with three additional projects currently coming on line and many more scheduled for development. This project investment is expected to begin generating carbon offsets in January 2018 with initial cash flow from the sale of these offsets in 2019.

“Generating revenue from the sale of offsets through California’s cap and trade program is a complex process requiring a great deal of regulatory oversight to ensure the credits are real, additional, and permanent,” said Andrew Craig, director of greenhouse gas reduction initiatives for California Bioenergy. “We’re thankful to have partnered with some of the leading experts in the dairy digester industry, including The Climate Trust, who has been an invaluable asset to us and our dairy farmer partners.”

“The need for capital when building a livestock digester project is in strong alignment with Climate Trust Capital’s investment thesis of providing an early-stage investment to catalyze projects,” said Kristen Kleiman, director of investments for The Climate Trust. “Digesters improve the economic and environmental performance of dairies, provide clean energy, improve soil nutrient management, improve local air quality, and so much more. Quality digester projects will make up a sizeable portion of our investment portfolio, enabling the trust to keep an eye toward ensuring the best possible premiums from the sale of generated credits.”

The CE&S digester will treat the manure by covering manure lagoons with a flexible, high-density polyethylene cover. Captured methane will be stored and then combusted in a high-efficiency generator that delivers renewable electricity to Pacific Gas and Electric. In addition, the digester will be double lined and enhance ground-water protection. Effluent from the digester will be used to irrigate fields.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
January 10, 2017 – In a paper by Texas A&M scientists, biochar shows potential for increasing efficiency of the anaerobic digestion of animal manure.

In the study, digesters that are enhanced with the biochar saw a methane production increase of about 40 percent, with a reduction in production time of 50 to 70 percent. READ MORE





Published in Anaerobic Digestion
Christmas came early for pork producers in Manitoba, Canada, last month.
Published in Swine
December 20, 2017, San Francisco, CA – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently established a new program to reduce emissions of methane, a potent short-lived climate pollutant, from manure generated at dairies.

The pilot program will incentivize at least five projects where dairy digesters capture and process the biomethane gas from manure to produce renewable natural gas.

The program was adopted pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 1383 (Lara, 2016) which authorizes funding of the dairy biomethane pilot projects to demonstrate interconnection to the gas pipeline system. The pipeline infrastructure is needed to inject renewable natural gas (after a conditioning process) into the utilities’ natural gas distribution system, where it may be sold to customers. SB 1383 established a goal of 40 percent reduction of methane emissions statewide by 2030. Emissions from manure represent approximately 26 percent of California’s methane emissions.

“This program helps turn a waste product into renewable energy,” said Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen. “In addition to reducing emissions of methane, the pilot projects will help improve air and water quality in the Central Valley and other regions. Strong interagency coordination has allowed us to implement this in a very short timeframe.”

Under the proposal, an interagency committee that includes the CPUC, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture will select the pilot projects. The committee will choose projects based on an evaluation of the proposed business model, likely greenhouse gas reductions realized and cost effectiveness of achieving these reductions, environmental benefits, disadvantaged community benefits, and project readiness.
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
December 18, 2017, Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP).

The program, which is funded through California Climate Investment dollars, provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters in California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Reducing methane emissions is a critical component in the state’s efforts to combat climate change,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Digester technology is an excellent example of how state and private partnerships can protect the environment, reduce emissions all while also providing an economic benefit for our dairy producers.”

CDFA will allocate between $61 and $75 million for potential projects. The final sum will depend on the needs of successful grant applicants. Additional funds have been allocated to support non-digester practices that reduce methane emissions from dairy and livestock operations through the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP). Milk producers and dairy digester developers can apply for up to $3 million for projects that provide quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions.

Prospective applicants can access the “Request for Grant Applications” at www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/DD for information on eligibility and program requirements.

To streamline the application process, CDFA is partnering with the State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). All prospective applicants must register for a FAAST account at https://faast.waterboards.ca.gov. Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically using FAAST by Friday, January 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

CDFA will hold two free workshops and one webinar to provide information on program requirements and the FAAST application process. CDFA staff will be present at the workshop to provide guidance on the application process, provide application examples and answer any questions. Individuals planning to attend should email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with their contact information, number of seats required and the workshop location.

Workshop locations include:

Modesto – Wednesday, January 3, 2018
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner Office, Room HI,
3800 Cornucopia Way
Modesto, CA 95358

Tulare – Thursday, January 4, 2018
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Office Conference Room
Agricultural Building
4437 S Laspina Street
Tulare, CA 93274

Webinar – Monday, January 8, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
To register for the webinar, please visit the program webpage at www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/DD.

Prospective applicants should refer to the DDRDP webpage (www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/DD) for information on community outreach assistance coordinated by CDFA. For general program questions, contact CDFA’s Grants Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Published in Anaerobic Digestion
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