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Anaerobic Digestion Systems

Integrating Emerging Technologies to Improve Environmental and Economic Impact

The US Dairy Adoption Of Anaerobic Digestion Systems Integrating Multiple Emerging Clean Technologies:  Climate, Environmental, And Economic Impacts project aimed to quantify the climate, air, water, nutrient and economic impacts of integrating emerging, next-generation technologies within AD systems on U.S. dairies. Existing evidence suggested that addressing nutrient concerns and improving project returns on investment could enhance AD adoption rates in the U.S., and generate additional environmental benefits. The project focused on three technologies that were developed by the project team through leveraged research.

Figure 1) AD System with Multiple Integrations

Project Objectives:

  1. Enhancement of pyrolysis through modification of biochar for nutrient recovery (NR), with exploration of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) capture
  2. Agronomic evaluation of AD-derived fertilizers at greenhouse scale: surface-modified biochar, organic P-enriched solids, ammonium sulfate solution, and struvite crystals
  3. Modeling of various adoption scenarios for AD systems technologies, and the impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nutrient flows, and crop yields
  4. Techno-economic analysis of adoption scenarios
  5. Extension of research to key stakeholders positioned to facilitate adoption of AD systems (e.g. industry, regulatory agencies, and private carbon market entities)

Five product samples; 2 liquids, 3 solids

Figure 2: Various manure-derived soil amendments: (1) anaerobically digested liquid manure; (2) ammonium sulfate solution from WSU AIRTRAP systems (USPTO 2011); (3) phosphorus-rich solids from AIRTRAP; (4) slow release ammonium and phosphorus containing struvite crystals from both dairy and municipal waste-water systems (USPTO 2010), and (5) phosphorus-enriched bio-char (Streuble et al. 2011)

8 microscopic images of biochar cellular structuresPiping and ladder at anaerobic digester. Labelled Nutrient RecoveryWater in concrete containment. Labelled Water Recovery

USDAFunding for this project is provided by USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture

2012-2015 USDA NIFA AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability And Change Grant #WNP02012-00881

Major Products

Biochar and Nutrient Recovery

Agronomics of recovered products