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Poster Abstract

Case Studies of Five Pennsylvania Anaerobic Digester Systems on Livestock Farms

Patrick Topper, Deborah Topper, Robert Graves and Tom Richard
Senior Agricultural Research Technologist, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University

With rising on-farm energy costs and nuisance odor complaints from neighbors, many farms are changing their manure management practices. Energy in manure can be utilized through anaerobic digestion to produce biogas, which in turn can be converted to electricity and hot water. The process also produces a reduced-odor effluent with nutrients recycled onto cropland with a noticeable reduction in odor intensity and unpleasantness. During 2006 and 2007, case studies were performed on five currently operating anaerobic digesters on Pennsylvania farms. The digesters studied include farm enterprises with dairy, swine, and poultry and range from operating a few months to over twenty years.