Benefits of Combining Farm-based Food Waste with Manure Anaerobic Digestion
Study Shows Food-waste Added to Manure Anaerobic Digestion Process Offers Many Benefits
After conducting an in-depth life-cycle analysis assessing the environmental impact and economic benefits of managing both manure and food waste generated at a dairy farm, scientists conclude that anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and animal waste offered significant environmental, energy and cost benefits compared to manure anaerobic digestion only and sending food waste off to a landfill site for disposal. An in-depth discussion covering the potential of co-digestion of farm waste products for bio fuel production, enhanced profitability, and its potential to reduce global warming and atmospheric pollution is presented in a paper that was recently published in the scientific journal Industrial Biotechnology.
The authors calculate an $8.4 million net value over a 25 year period when both food waste and manure from a dairy farm are co-digested compared to a $7.5 million loss with manure anaerobic digestion only, with food waste been disposed in a landfill. This economic analysis together with the environmental benefits, including the effects on water quality, air pollution and global warming is assessed in the article titled "Life Cycle and Economic Assessment of Anaerobic Co-digestion of Dairy Manure and Food Waste."
The article forms part on a special research section devoted to Anaerobic Digestion led by Guest Editor Wei Liao. This issue of Industrial Biotechnology also includes an Overview by Dr. Liao entitled "Anaerobic Digestion: A Potential Energy and Environmental Solution" and two Review articles: "Anaerobic Digestion-Based Biorefinery for Bioenergy and Biobased Products" by K.C. Surendra et al.; and "Anaerobic Digestion Potential of Coproducts Associated with Ethanol Production from Sweetpotato: A Review," by W.A. Mussoline and A.C. Wilkie.
"Efforts to take organic waste materials and find added value creates exciting opportunities for Industrial Biotechnology innovation and commercialization even when applying existing and familiar technology," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Larry Walker, of the Biological and Environmental Engineering Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Biogas Monitoring Tools: Portable Biogas Analyzer
No matter what organic material is digested in a biogas digester, the operator needs to be able to easily monitor and check that the digestion process in functioning efficiently. The BIOGAS 5000 is an easy to use portable biogas analyzer that allows biogas operators to accurately monitor gas in a biogas digester to ensure digestion is running smoothly. It is useful for both agricultural, food and farm waste (large scale and small scale) and can also be used to monitor digestion processes at sewage and wastewater treatment facilities, as well as other applications where biogas needs to be monitored or methane leaks detected.
Image Credit: "HestemÃ¸j" by Malene Thyssen - Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons