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MSU digester project adds biogas element

Renewable energy company Anaergia is set to participate in the creation of ‘the world’s largest college campus-based anaerobic disgestion system in the US.

The Canada-based biogas producer will be involved in the project found at the Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Centre at Michigan State University (MSU).

The project’s aim is demonstrate how anaerobic digestion can address food, energy and environment issues on the way to generating sustainable renewable energy,

‘MSU is demonstrating clear leadership in the global trend to divert organic wastes from landfills by converting them into renewable energy and natural fertiliser through anaerobic digestion,’ says Anaergia  CEO Steve Watzeck. ‘We are proud to have been selected for this project and are excited about the contributions we will collectively be making to sustainability.’

The organic waste delivered to the facility will be fed to a complete mixed digester (CSTR) where the material will be naturally broken down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. The methane-rich biogas produced will be used to generate renewable energy using a combined heat and power system.

The nutrient-rich liquid will then be separated from the left over solids and used as natural fertilizer on surrounding agricultural land. The remaining fibrous solids can be composted for renewable bedding material for local dairy cows or sold to the public as fertiliser.

‘MSU's anaerobic digestion project will generate renewable energy that can reduce dependence on the University's coal-fired power plant in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’ adds Anaergia VP of agriculture Bernie Sheff. ‘Anaerobically treating multiple waste streams in one centrally located system improves economies of scale and allows for cost effective solutions to be delivered.’