ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND WASTE TREATMENT CAPABILITIES OF SMALL-SCALE ANAEROBIC DIGESTION SYSTEMS
Publication or External Link
Anaerobic digestion is a common form of waste treatment and energy production throughout the world, and in the United States the number of agricultural digesters is increasing at a rate of approximately 10% annually. As the number of digesters grows, efforts to assess the environmental cost of their installation and the potential utility of their by-products are required. This research investigates the relative environmental sustainability of small-scale digesters treating dairy manure in the U.S. and human waste in Haiti, and explores the biogas potential and nutrient transformations resulting from the anaerobic digestion of dairy manure. Specifically, the objectives of the research are: 1) to conduct an eMergy analysis on the two digestion systems to assess the effect of waste source, climate, and infrastructure on system sustainability; and 2) to provide an overview of waste treatment and energy production options for agricultural digesters treating dairy manure in the United States.