University of Wisconsin powers up innovative biodigester

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s new anaerobic dry fermentation biodigester began producing energy at the start of October.

Gas has been produced after the decomposition of agricultural plant and food waste loaded into and stored in the facility’s airless chambers since late summer reached an optimal point for energy-production startup.

The renewable energy facility is expected to initially produce up to 5% of the campus’s electricity and heat.

Energy produced by the power generation is being sold back to the grid through regional utilities. The revenue realized over time will vary based on the level of gas production and power purchase agreements with Wisconsin Public Service. It will ultimately support student scholarship and academic programme enhancements at UW Oshkosh.

In September, UW Oshkosh received the 2011 Silver Waste-to-Energy Excellence Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) for development of the biodigester and its efforts in solid waste management.

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