Cost assessment of centralizing a swine manure and corn stover co-digestion system for biogas production

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Andersen, Daniel
Raman, D. Raj
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Raman, D. Raj
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringCenter for Biorenewable Chemicals

Iowa's livestock produces over 50 million tons of wet-basis manure each year. Biogas production from the manure can provide additional income to farmers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, control odors, and provide a renewable energy source. Despite these benefits, biogas production is rarely deployed at swine farms. In this work, we explore the system economics to understand better the reasons for low deployment, as well as the benefits that might be realized via several additional steps, including: (1) cleaning and injection into the natural gas grid, (2) amending manure with biomass, and (3) digester centralization. Specifically, we present a static, spreadsheet-based techno-economic model that allows examining these scenarios and combinations thereof. We also present our results and the uncertainties therein. This work shows that under the model assumptions, distributed, farm-scale digesters are not competitive with natural gas prices in Iowa, while some centralized production scenarios can be competitive, providing that fertilizer value and RIN credits are sufficiently high.


This conference presentation is published as Myers, Gabrielle M., Daniel S. Andersen, and D. Raj Raman. "Cost assessment of centralizing a swine manure and corn stover co-digestion system for biogas production." ASABE Paper No. 2100888. ASABE Annual International Meeting, July 12-16, 2021. DOI: 10.13031/aim.202100888. Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2021