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Biogas Information

     
   

Climate Friendly Farming

Washington State University helping farmers develop and implement agricultural systems and practices that mitigate global climate change.

 

Biogas Information

Within the Pacific Northwest, there is much talk about producing green energy by digesting manure. Whatcom County is beginning to put that talk to action.

Agriculture is an important part of Whatcom County's economy, history, and culture. The county has about one third of Washington State's dairy cows, about 80,000 milk cows. This large animal industry produces large quantities of animal waste, with inherent environmental consequences. Rising energy prices are also hurting farmers. Thus, the dairy industry is under stress due to both economic and regulatory issues.

Storage and land applying animal manure contributes significant greenhouse gas (methane, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen) to the environment. Converting animal manure to energy and useable byproducts can reduce greenhouse gasses, plus provide other beneficial effects.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) has the potential to reduce manure-handling problems while generating a compost like fiber for blending into a soil conditioner & methane gas for energy. Thus, AD can provide a second income for farmers.

There are potentially three new income streams for farmers. Methane gas can be converted to electricity, the fiber generated can be sold as a soil amendment or as animal bedding, and the AD process can provide greenhouse gas carbon credits for mitigation of new power plants.

Farmers who use AD for their dairy manure report fewer odor problems and complaints, and some say the solids produced are more saleable. With AD, you can remove a higher level of phosphorous from the solids, thus reducing the potential problems of water contamination of phosphorous overload.

Anaerobic Digesters are just one way of assisting in the country's need to find alternative energy choices that benefit the environment. This web site will point you to other AD trials, demonstrations and scientific literature

Other Biogas Sites

The Green Power Network - Green Pricing Programs

Midwest Rural Energy Council's comprehensive biogas links

EPA - The AgSTAR Program

Manure Digesters--Ag Canada

Biomass Energy Information and Resource - Minnestota

US Dept. of Energy - Methane from Anaerobic Digesters

How Biogas is Generated from Agricultural Residues

Carbon Credits:

Chicago Climate Exchange

FAO Committee on Agriculture's Carbon Credits

Farm Experience:

Whatcom County On-Farm Composting Website

Manure Compost Marketing Guide (This is a *pdf file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view)

Description of a Farm-Scale Biogas Plant Krieg & Fischer Ingenieure GmbH

Environomics, Designer: Manure Biogas Digestion Systems

Dairy Waste Handbook

Anaerobic Digestion for Piggeries

At Your Disposal

Forums, Listserves, Networks:

Energy Matters

AD Net, Europe & Canada

Whatcom County Agriculture:

Animal Agriculture

Biogas Information

Commercial Horticulture

Commercial Links

Dairy

Farm Business Management

Food Entrepreneurism

Nutrient Management

Pasture Management

Urban Horticulture

Whatcom County IPM Program

Weather, Statistics & Other Information

 
                     
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WSU Whatcom County Extension
1000 N Forest Street, Suite 201, Bellingham WA 98225 USA

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