Manure-to-energy system has environmental benefits

Posted on November 2, 2007. Filed under: Digesters |


From an article by Kristopher Wenn in the Manitowoc Herald Republican:

MANITOWOC — What comes out of cows can be toxic to the environment, but it also can be put to use, said Steve Dvorak on Thursday.

Dvorak is the owner of D&D Equipment and developer and manufacturer of manure digesters, which use anaerobic digestion to turn manure into energy and other byproducts such as cow bedding and fertilizer. Anaerobic digestion is the biodegradation of organic materials by bacteria in the absence of oxygen.

“We have a unique energy source,” Dvorak said at the League of Women Voters presentation. “It solves of a lot of problems from odor to how to manage manure. But it’s not the panacea of all (problems).”

Manure digesters work much like a cow’s stomach except that it processes its organic material for about 22 days, Dvorak said.

The digesters turn manure into a biogas that is burned to produce energy.

The energy potential from the manure generated by a cow and processed by a manure digester equates to about 6½ kilowatt hours per day, Dvorak said. Under that calculation, it would take about three cows to power an average home in Manitowoc County.

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