New biogas plant in a dairy county, in Wisconsin, USA
March 11, 2011
In the province of Dane, Wisconsin in the U.S. was at the end of 2010 the launch of the first biogas plant in the region. This province which has a population of 453,000 inhabitants, has about 400 farms with a total capacity of 50,000 heads of cows. More than 900,000 tons of manure produced in these farms annually, threatening the ecosystem of local lakes Yahara. The design and construction of digesters, however, is such as to permit the removal of much of the phosphorus from manure. Without the existence of these biogas plants to take away the animal waste, the uncontrolled spread of manure on fields as fertilizer would result in the growth of algae (seaweed) to water and the emergence of eutrophication that will destroy, in fact, these ecosystems.
The newly installed biogas plant processes animal waste from three local cattle farms. Funded by 3.3 million U.S. dollars from the State of Wisconsin and the the manufacturer will have the ownership and responsibility for the operation. It has three anaerobic digesters (tanks where special conditions prevail in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas) each of which has a capacity of about 3.750 m3. Besides the aforementioned benefits of preventing pollution of aquifers, the biogas plant produces clean renewable energy sufficient to meet the electricity needs of 2,500 inhabitants.Even for the owner of the unit, the benefits are significant: the amount of energy sold annually is estimated to reach 2 million dollars!
Following the example of this unit, it is already in the design phase and design new counterpart unit in the area of Springfield's in the same state, which will take feedstock manure from four local cattle farms. State funding for this project amounts to 3.3 million U.S. dollars. Overall, until April 2010, 130 power plants and / or thermal energy from biogas anaerobic digestion of animal manure, worked in the U.S. The production of green energy from all the units amounted to 392.000 MWh and their presence helped avoid 45,000 tonnes of methane emission from manure in the atmosphere. Note that methane is about 23 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, which is usually why a reference to climate change.
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