The Digester

We use a methane digester to create our own electricity! We have the first community, three-species methane digester. In 2011, after two years of planning and permitting, construction began. A year later, we put the first cow-poop-power electricity out onto the grid!

The very first dirt to be moved for the digester project. An exciting day!

The very first dirt to be moved for the digester project. An exciting day!

Animal waste is collected from our farm, plus two neighboring farms via underground pipe. Cow, chicken, and pig manure is collected in a large covered concrete tank, and held at 101 degrees. We also add food waste to the mix- usually old produce from large chain grocery stores or by products from processing plants. When this mixture is kept warm, the bacteria are super happy, eating away, and creating a lot of methane gas! The gas is blown through another underground line into a big generator. A big generator burns the methane to make 200kW of electricity per hour!

The covered tank where the magic happens!

The covered tank where the magic happens!

Receiving  a load of food waste to be added to the digester.

Receiving a load of food waste to be added to the digester.

The digester and generator are working around the clock to create enough electricity for our two farms, plus 140 additional homes! We’ve reduced our carbon footprint at a rate equal to removing 205 cars from the road.

 

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