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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

Oregon’s Methane Project -Experience and Potential

Mike Gamroth

Oregon State University

Dept. of Animal Sciences

the process
The process
  • Anaerobic digestion – like the rumen
    • Longer retention
  • Methane collection
  • Methane use
    • Heat, hot water
    • Combustion engine electricity

“Methane digester”

basic concepts
Basic concepts
  • Decomposition of organic material
  • Oxygen-free environment
  • Numerous strains of microorganisms
  • Biogas
    • Methane 50-80%
    • CO2 20-50%
    • Other gases
slide4

Ambient temperature

    • Covered lagoon
    • Lowest output
  • Mesophilic
    • Around 100º F
    • More forgiving
  • Thermophilic
    • Highest output, lower retention time
digester types
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
digester types6
Digester types
  • Complete mix
    • Typically upright round tanks
    • Benefits from regular feeding
    • Can handle “wetter” manure
    • When co-digesting, mixing important
digester types7
Digester types
  • Covered lagoon
    • Lowest cost, simplest to operate
    • Best suited to warm climates, wet manure
    • Lowest gas output
    • Often will be “seasonal”
digester types8
Digester types
  • Biofilm
    • Can augment any digester
    • A place for bacterial activity
    • Reduces retention time
economics 101
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
benefits of digestion
Benefits of digestion
  • Generate energy from biomass
  • Odor reduction
  • More readily available nitrogen
  • Pathogen reduction

$65

$68

$80

$83

why there aren t more
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

keys to success
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
resources
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
the system
The system
  • Scraped manure
  • Piston pump to feed digester
  • Digester effluent through a screw-press screen
  • Liquids stored in lagoon
  • Solids in covered bunker
slide18
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
research project
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
electrical output

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)

exporting solids to reduce nutrient loading
Exporting solids to reduce nutrient loading

1 Average of 51 separators, Willamette Valley, 1995

daf separation
DAF separation

90%+ P removal