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Long Term Operation and Maintenance of a Digester at the Brendle Farms Poultry Operation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  NABEC-04-0042,  2004 Special Meeting Papers . (doi: 10.13031/2013.16119)
Authors:   Wayne M. Bogovich
Keywords:   Biogas, Digesters, Energy Recovery, Maintenance, Operation, Poultry Manure

The digester at the Brendle Chicken Farm in Somerset County, Pennsylvania has produced electricity during its 19 years of operation. The digester is a 12.8 meter diameter, 4.3 meter deep concrete tank with a vertical wall through the center. Hydraulic retention time is 21 days at a temperature of 39 degrees Celsius and 8% solids. A preheat tank was installed to: heat the manure to avoid shocking the system; settle out the limestone grit from the feeding process; and float the feathers. Limestone grit is removed from the preheat tank every ten weeks. Limestone has been removed from the digester only twice since going on line. Actual payoff for the system was 7.5 years. Annual maintenance costs are $5,000.00 per year. Net savings is one cent to 1.5 cents per dozen eggs produced.