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  • © Copyright quasar energy group 2013

    ANAEROBIC Digestion

    © Copyright quasar energy group 2013

    naerobic digestion is a process that occurs naturally when organic waste decomposes in the absence of oxygen. Bacteria converts the material to biogas which is approximately 60% methane. This biogas is used to generate electricity, heat, natural gas, or motor vehicle fuel (biomethane). The material that remains is used as a low-cost high- value soil amendment.



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    • Renewable energy – natural

    gas, electricity, motor vehicle fuel (CNG/LNG)

    • Animal bedding, peat

    alternative and compost • Concentrated fertilizer with

    capacity for (P) separation • Reduced greenhouse gas

    emissions, cleaner air, soil and water


    ANAEROBIC Digestion – Outputs

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    Germany’s land mass as compared to that of the United States.

    Germany, which has the largest installed base of solar and the third largest installed base of wind gets 1more renewable energy from organic materials than wind and solar combined. In 2011, Germany had approximately 6,800 biogas facilities generating 2,300 MW of electricity. That’s the equivalent of 2207,300 gge per hour. 1.7 billion gallons of renewable fuel per year! Germany is approximately the size of Montana. REFERENCES:

    1. Renewable Energy World: Integrating Anaerobic Digestion into our Culture Part 2 2. Assumptions: 3,412,142 BTU=1MW, Standard Electric Generator Efficiency – 33.2%, 114,000 BTU = 1gge

    POTENTIAL the German Industry

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    U. S. INDUSTRY Current Snapshot

    • 1192 anaerobic digester systems are operating at commercial livestock farms in the United States.

    • These systems have the ability to generate more than 66 MW of electricity each hour.

    • The average U.S. system creates enough biogas to operate a 350 kW rated generator.

    • The U.S. AD industry is about 3% the size of the German industry.

    REFERENCES: 1. AgSTAR Website: Operating Anaerobic Digestion Projects Note: The AgSTAR database only tracks agricultural anaerobic digestion projects


    1 AgSTAR Map of Operational Digester Systems

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    NY INDUSTRY Potential


    POTENTIAL IN NEW YORK STATE New York is third in the U.S. for milk production. The Innovation Center for US Dairy ranks New York among the top 10 largest dairy states and notes that the state has high organic substrate availability – making it optimal for deployment of anaerobic digestion technology. 1

    There are currently 26 anaerobic digesters operating at commercial livestock farms in New York.

    1. Innovation Center for US Dairy National Market Value of Anaerobic Digester Products 2. Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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    NY INDUSTRY Types of Anaerobic Digesters

    Complete Mix: Number in New York: 9 A complete mix digester is sealed, mixed and heated utilizing less than 10% of the energy produced from the system itself. Typically biomass is introduced into the digester with 3% to 15% solids that are pumpable with COD concentrations of approximately 150,000.

    quasar currently has 2 anaerobic digesters under construction in the Buffalo and Niagara areas of New York.


    quasar facility in Rutland, Massachusetts

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    NY INDUSTRY Types of Anaerobic Digesters

    Covered Lagoon: Number in New York: 6 An earthen lagoon with a cover to contain and facilitate collection of biogas; the least expensive type of digester to install and operate. It is also the least controlled system with the lowest gas production. In northern climates, there may be no gas production in cold weather. They are best suited for flush manure collection systems with total solids of 0.5% to 3%. 1


    Plug Flow: Number in New York: 11 Long, rectangular concrete tanks with an air-tight cover where manure flows in one end and out the other. The tank is typically heated, often using recovered heat from the biogas burner. Plug flow digesters require 11% to 13% total solids in the manure and work well with scraped dairy manure. 1

    1. Innovation Center for US Dairy National Market Value of Anaerobic Digester Products.

    Emerling Farm. Photo: Cornell University

    RCM International, LLC

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    © Copyright quasar energy group 2013

    TYPES OF ORGANIC RESIDUALS: • Food Processing Residuals • Manure • Energy Crops & Spent Grains • Biobased Oils & Lubricants • FOG (fats, oils & grease) • Waste Water Treatment Sludge • Personal Care Products


    • Ethanol and Biodiesel processing residuals • Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) • Expired, damaged or off-spec consumer goods • Packaged Organics (depackaging technology) • Crop Residuals • Glycerin & Stillage • Whey • Sugar Water

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    OPPORTUNITY How do we change?

    LIABILITY: In 2010 about 250 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated – organic substrates accounted for 14% – the single largest component of MSW reaching landfills and incinerators. Less than 3% or 970,000 tons was recovered and recycled in 2010. 1

    Can generators capture this material efficiently and cost effectively to improve operations and the environment?

    1. US EPA Website unicipal/index.htm


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    FOOD WASTE Potential for Anaerobic Digestion


    In 2010, about 33.8 million tons of commercial organic substrate were discarded in landfills or incinerators.

    In the same year, annual supermarket losses averaged 11.4% for fresh fruit, 9.7% for fresh vegetables and 4.5% for meat, poultry and seafood. Commercial and processed/manufacturing organic substrate available for digester use is estimated at 21.4 million tons in 2010 and expected to grow to 24.2 million tons by 2020.1

    Product1 Per Capita Retail

    Losses (lbs/person) Organic Substrate


    Vegetables 22.2 3,079,273

    Fruit 19 2,635,414

    Cane/Beet Sugar 6.9 957,071

    Total Fats 17.8 2,468,967

    All Milks 21.3 2,954,438

    Dairy Products 28.8 3,994,733

    Grains 23.3 3,231,850

    Salad & Cooking Oils 10.9 1,511,895

    Other Edible Fats Oils 0.1 13,871

    Honey & Syrup 2 277,412

    Corn Sweeteners 7.2 998,683

    Meat Poultry Eggs Fish 12.2 1,692,213

    Total 171.7 23,815,819

    1. Innovation Center for US Dairy. , National Market Value of Anaerobic Digester Products – information from Research Service (ERS) /USDA; Informa Economics

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    CO-DIGESTION Challenges & Considerations

    Contamination: • Anything not organic in nature: plastic, metal,

    glass, sand, etc. - essentially anything not included in original sample

    • Addition operating costs necessary for accumulation of inorganic material in the ADS

    • Result: damaged receiving equipment, unscheduled maintenance on tanks and pumps

    Wax-coated cardboard

    Plastic, straw, wood and cardboard

    Limitations: • Digester cannot accept petroleum based

    products, biomass sources with metal, plastic, paper, or glass contamination, or sources with heavy metals

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    Community Collaboration URBAN DIGESTER

    Grand Opening Collaborators: Major collaborators from July 2012 event in Cleveland, Ohio

    Urban Anaerobic Digestion: Cleveland, Ohio Project Information: The long-empty site of the former General Motors Fisher Body Plant in Collinwood, Ohio, takes on a new life as the home of a renewable energy facility, powered by Cleveland area businesses. quasar energy group and Forest City Enterprises have partnered to build a 1.3 Megawatt waste-to-energy plant that recycles organic residuals from regional businesses like Pierre’s Ice Cream Company and produces electricity that will be sold to Cleveland Public Power. We’re harnessing the energy of local partnerships and further developing the city’s efforts to move toward a green eco


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