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Cow power: the energy and emissions benefits of converting manure to biogas

July 2008 research paper released by the Institute of Physics. Abstract: "This report consists of a top-level aggregate analysis of the total potential for converting livestock manure into a domestic renewable fuel source (biogas) that could be used to help states meet renewable portfolio standard requirements and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the US, livestock agriculture produces over one billion tons of manure annually on a renewable basis. Most of this manure is disposed of in lagoons or stored outdoors to decompose. Such disposal methods emit methane and nitrous oxide, two important GHGs with 21 and 310 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, respectively. In total, GHG emissions from the agricultural sector in the US amounted to 536 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide equivalent, or 7% of the total US emissions in 2005. Of this agricultural contribution, 51 to 118 MMT of carbon dioxide equivalent resulted from livestock manure emissions alone, with trends showing this contribution increasing from 1990 to 2005. Thus, limiting GHG emissions from manure represents a valuable starting point for mitigating agricultural contributions to global climate change."

Wisconsin Agricultural Biogas Casebook: July 2008 Edition Focus on Energy report on the 17 anaerbic digesters operating in Wisconsin as of July 2008. The aim of the report is to provide information on how these digesters work. Digester owners have shared experiences and ideas so that other farmers can evaluate the potential of a digester in their business.
An Analysis of Energy Production Costs from Anaerobic Digestion Systems on U.S. Livestock Production Facilities October 2007 report from USDA-NRCS. "This technical publication reviews the potential of using manure anaerobic digestion (AD) systems on livestock production facilities to produce electricity or biogas to supply farm energy needs. An in-depth biogas production cost analysis is provided to assess the feasibility of utilizing an anaerobic digester for on-farm purposes."
Anaerobic Digesters and Methane Production
uwexlogo A 2001 report subtitled: "Questions that need to be asked and answered before investing your money." Prepared for UW-Discovery Farms under funding by UW-Extension.
Making the Most of Manure Short, general article in October 2007 issue of Biomass Magazine. It quotes Eric Cooley, research coordinator and outreach specialist for UW-Discovery Farms.
Digester Feasibility for Mid-Sized Dairy Farms A webpage describing an effort by The Minnesota Project. Includes a preliminary report assessing existing digester systems appropriate for small to mid dairy farm size.
Full Service Farm Anaerobic Digester Installers Active in Wisconsin A 2006 flier from Focus on Energy.
Agricultural Biogas Casebook – 2004 Update A 2004 report (63p) on anaerobic digesters on farms in five Midwestern states. Wisconsin co-sponsors included Focus on Energy. Includes glossary technical terms and short case studies of a large number of farms using various AD technologies.

 

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