Department - Author 1

Dairy Science Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Dairy Science



Primary Advisor

Bruce L. Golden


Anaerobic digestion has many different avenues for opportunity in use on farms. The objective of my senior project is to determine the economic viability of alternative methane digesters on a dairy. Currently the conversion of animal manure to biogas through the process of anaerobic digestion is widely used in Europe. In the U.S. anaerobic digesters have become increasingly in demand by environmental groups and dairymen. Digesters environmental impact involves the benefit by capturing the biogas that comes off animal manure. Methane, a green house gas, is the one with the most concern that is captured by methane digesters. The biogas is either injected into pipelines for energy, used to power motors for the production of electricity, or the excess biogas is flared as to control smell and release of methane into the environment. Main problems with methane digesters in California is making them cost effective and also when using generators to produce electricity meeting air quality control boards standards. The solution that is being looked into today to get around air quality standards is injecting the biogas directly into pipelines that deliver it to power companies that purchase the biogas. Being able to operate an efficient methane digester requires constant maintenance, large enough herd size to be economically feasible, and location near pipeline to be linked into the system.

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