Manure Manager

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USDA approves $1 million for OH digester project


November 30, 1999
By manure manager

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It was recently announced that $1 million in federal resources has been allocated for a methane digester project in Ohio

It was recently announced that $1 million in federal resources has been allocated for a methane digester project in Ohio to reduce nutrient loading associated with toxic algae blooms, like the cyanobacteria in Grand Lake St. Marys. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program through a competitive process.

Through the CIG program, Quasar Energy Group will help bring methane digester technology to Grand Lake St. Marys, a watershed that has been inundated by blue-green algae. The algae has left the lake unsafe for swimming, and contributed to a decline in tourism, which has led to increased economic hardship for local business.

Earlier this spring, Quasar, a northeast Ohio energy company, filed a grant application.

“With the CIG grant, we will be working to make the situation better by creating a portable technology to separate nutrients and remove them from the watershed,” said Mel Kurtz, president of Quasar Energy Group. “This project will not only be about impacting the region – but about demonstrating a technology that will benefit every farmer and every waste water treatment plant that is struggling with a nutrient management issue.”

Recent studies on Grand Lake St. Marys have shown that excess phosphorus loading of the lake has been the primary reason for algae blooms during the past two summers.

Methane digestion is a biological process that converts organic matter in manure into methane, a renewable energy that can be used for facility heating and converted to electricity or compressed natural gas (CNG). Availability of CNG as a motor vehicle fuel could provide lower costs and cleaner air for the community.