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Small and Medium Scale Anaerobic Digesters for Temperate Regions

Dr. Bob Graves, Penn State Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, hosts Dr. Stephanie Lansing, Assistant Professor of Ecological Engineering at the University of Maryland - who presents on research around small-scale digester design for a variety of applications.

About the Program:  Anaerobic digestion is a manure treatment option that is gaining popularity throughout the world as a result of its multiple environmental and economic benefits. With nearly 70,000 dairy facilities in operation, there exists a large potential market for these systems in the United States, but due to the high capital costs associated with this technology it is often limited to large-scale operations (>500 cows). The need for further research to make anaerobic digestion and methane recovery more readily available, cost effective, and manageable to small dairy facilities in the United States continues. A modified plug flow digester design was constructed in Beltsville, MD to address this need. This design was modeled after low-cost digesters utilized in the developing world. Data from this design will be presented in addition to an economic analysis of small to medium scale digesters in the US.

More on Dr. Lansing's research

Additional information about digesters and biogas-related research and Extension at Penn State and other partner land grant institutions.