Manure Manager

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University project to showcase emerging manure management technologies


March 14, 2008
By Manure Manager

Cow manure, waste silage and
cheese whey are waste products to some, but viable energy sources to
enterprising Clarkson University researchers in New York state who are
helping area farmers meet their own energy needs.

Cow manure, waste silage and cheese whey are waste products to some, but viable energy sources to enterprising Clarkson University researchers in New York state who are helping area farmers meet their own energy needs.

The 2006 state budget included a $1-million appropriation for Clarkson to investigate ways that dairy waste from cheese manufacturing and dairy farms can be used as feedstock to produce biogas to generate heat and electric power on New York farms.

“Biogas derived from the anaerobic digestion of manure and whey represents an important biofuel that could provide significant economic, environmental and social benefits at thousands of farms,” says Stefan Grimberg, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Clarkson. “Farmers and dairy processing facilities can displace purchased sources of heat and power, reduce wastewater treatment and environmental compliance costs, and mitigate exposure to fluctuating power prices.”

Grimberg is the principal investigator on a $2-million project to design and build an anaerobic digester and power/heat recovery system at a working dairy farm in Jefferson County, N.Y.

The researchers will use the project to showcase emerging technologies. The project also promises to yield important improvements over current digester technologies through the development of an optimization model for the integrated energy system and through mechanisms to separate sand used for bedding from the manure.


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