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An Economic Comparison of Two Anaerobic Digestion Systems on Dairy Farms

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

Citation:  Paper number  034154,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13896) @2003
Authors:   Peter Wright, Sr., Scott Inglis
Keywords:   Anaerobic Digestion, Dairy Manure, Plug Flow Digester, Complete Mixed Digester, Food Waste, Methane

Two dairy farms in New York State have recently installed anaerobic digesters as a method to control odors and create value added by-products from their manure. The mass flow, nutrient flow and economics of these two systems will be compared. One farm chose a plug flow digester with liquid solid separation. The separated liquid effluent is stored in an upright metal manure storage structure and applied to the land by a custom operator. The solids are marketed off site. The other farm chose a mixed digester incorporating food waste. They also separate the solids, but use them for bedding. The separated digested liquid effluent is stored in an earthen storage facility and irrigated on the cropland. Both these systems save money when compared to traditional manure handling. However the amount of money saved per cow is quite different.

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