Oregon s methane project experience and potential
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Oregon’s Methane Project - Experience and Potential. Mike Gamroth Oregon State University Dept. of Animal Sciences. The process. Anaerobic digestion – like the rumen Longer retention Methane collection Methane use Heat, hot water Combustion engine electricity. “Methane digester”.

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Oregon s methane project experience and potential l.jpg

Oregon’s Methane Project -Experience and Potential

Mike Gamroth

Oregon State University

Dept. of Animal Sciences


The process l.jpg
The process

  • Anaerobic digestion – like the rumen

    • Longer retention

  • Methane collection

  • Methane use

    • Heat, hot water

    • Combustion engine electricity

“Methane digester”


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Basic concepts

  • Decomposition of organic material

  • Oxygen-free environment

  • Numerous strains of microorganisms

  • Biogas

    • Methane 50-80%

    • CO2 20-50%

    • Other gases


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  • Ambient temperature

    • Covered lagoon

    • Lowest output

  • Mesophilic

    • Around 100º F

    • More forgiving

  • Thermophilic

    • Highest output, lower retention time


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Digester types

  • Plug flow

    • Suited to scraped manure

    • Most common on dairies

    • Long rectangular tanks

    • Heat added, in-ground or insulated

    • Retention time (RT) 15 to 20 days


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Digester types

  • Complete mix

    • Typically upright round tanks

    • Benefits from regular feeding

    • Can handle “wetter” manure

    • When co-digesting, mixing important


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Digester types

  • Covered lagoon

    • Lowest cost, simplest to operate

    • Best suited to warm climates, wet manure

    • Lowest gas output

    • Often will be “seasonal”


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Digester types

  • Biofilm

    • Can augment any digester

    • A place for bacterial activity

    • Reduces retention time


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Economics 101

  • A thrifty digester system can payback in 7 to 10 years

    • Initial cost

    • Operation costs

    • Value of energy, tax credits

    • Other benefits – odor control, solids sales


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Benefits of digestion

  • Generate energy from biomass

  • Odor reduction

  • More readily available nitrogen

  • Pathogen reduction

$65

$68

$80

$83


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Why there aren’t more…

  • Poor design

  • Lack of skills, time

  • Excessive maintenance, operation time

  • Diminishing returns over time

  • Lack of interest

  • Out of business

EPA and Meyer, et al


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Keys to success

  • Know your manure quality

  • Match the digester technology with the manure

  • Select a tested design and keep it simple

  • Take advantage of incentives

  • Monitor the system daily

  • Line up operation and maintenance backup


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Resources

  • http://www.epa.gov/agstar/index.html

  • Our project:

    • Energy Trust of Oregon

    • Oregon Beef Council

    • Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

      • Amanda Green (360) 751-4190


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A partnership of Cal-gon Farms and Portland General Electric


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The system

  • Scraped manure

  • Piston pump to feed digester

  • Digester effluent through a screw-press screen

  • Liquids stored in lagoon

  • Solids in covered bunker


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Uses

  • Lagoon liquids mixed with water and irrigated onto field corn

  • Solids are sold off the farm and used as bedding

  • Recycling lagoon liquids through separator when not used for digester


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Research project

  • Questions about the farm’s nutrient balance

  • Questions about the start-up and stabilization of the digester

  • Received money from a grant program to sample the digester during start-up and for a two month period during operation

  • Evaluate solids as a soil amendment


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Ending Svc Date

kWh

# Days

Avg kWh/day

5/30/2002

8527

31

275

7/30/2002

12301

32

384

8/29/2002

14817

30

494

9/28/2002

17886

30

596

10/29/2002

23115

31

746

11/27/2002

19614

29

676

8/3/2003

271677

336

660

Electrical Output

Cal-Gon Farms Biogas Project

Generation Record (based on PGE bills)



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Exporting solids to reduce nutrient loading

1 Average of 51 separators, Willamette Valley, 1995



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DAF separation

90%+ P removal


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