Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #425157

Research Project: Performance and Optimization of Small-Scale Digesters for Energy Production and Treatment of Livestock Wastewater

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-12120-001-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 15, 2013
End Date: Jul 14, 2018

1) Test the ability of low-cost digesters to produce energy and treat manure throughout the year in a temperate climate; 2) Determine the optimal design for low-cost digestion systems in the temperate U.S.; and 3) Create an outdoor laboratory for testing methane potential of potential feedstocks and co-digestion materials.

The goal of the project is to develop affordable digesters for the majority of U.S. livestock farmers. To achieve this goal, six small-scale digesters, with two operational designs will be studied to provide long-term research on a system that has not been fully explored. Treatment efficiency, capital and operational costs, and gas utilization strategies will be evaluated for each type of system. Costs and benefits of different treatment strategies will be compared to existing manure management practices.