BioCycle Magazine

Regional roundup


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The University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, part of the Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), received an investment of more than US$2.6 million for construction of an anaerobic digester through the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario. OAC, with its Center for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability, views the digester as “a breeding ground for new methods and technologies that can be adopted throughout Ontario to add additional revenue streams to family farms,” says Art Schaafsma, Ridgetown Campus Director. The plant includes a digester, feeder system, pasteurization unit and biogas engine. It will process dairy, swine and beef manure, corn silage and other off-farm wastes. Construction began in September, with the facility expected to be on line and generating biogas by February 2011. The plant was designed and being built by PlanET Biogas Solutions acting as the design-build contractor.

The installation of a composting and heat recovery system at a calf-raising operation in Easton, New York (near Albany), marks the second such project for Agrilab Technologies, LLP, of Vermont. The system at Sunset View Farm, which raises dairy calves for 10 large regional dairy farms, is expected to capture in excess of 1,000 btu of energy from each ton of composting feedstock per hour. It is expected to process approximately 500 tons of material weekly, thus generating an average of 190,000 btu/hour, or 4,560,000 btu/day. The composting and heat recovery system should eliminate the farm’s use of propane while dramatically reducing diesel, electric and grid-based energy dependence, says Josh Nelson, Agrilab’s director of operations. The heat will supply the facility’s 11,000 gallon/day hot water needs and warm the buildings on the complex. Finished, stabilized compost will be used as livestock bedding and ultimately be field-applied, reducing chemical fertilizer usage and improving soil health.

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