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Title: Making money from waste: The economic viability of producing biogas and biomethane in the Idaho dairy industry

Abstract

Farm operations in the USA and Europe have seen a radical change in the last decades: small sized farms are disappearing, and farm size and total livestock on larger farms are increasing. The resulting spatial density of animals causes several environmental impacts. Anaerobic digestion is one promising technical solution to alleviate most of these impacts while simultaneously providing a regional energy source. This analysis assesses the economic viability of using dairy-cow manure for either (i) the on-farm production and use of biogas to generate electricity and heat or (ii) the upgrading biogas to biomethane, a natural-gas substitute. A non-linear optimization model was developed to optimize plant capacity for anaerobic digestion and maximize the net present value for each option by farm size. In this study, we used Idaho‘s dairy farms as a case study. The analysis implies that at least 3000 cows per farm are required for an economically viable anaerobic-digestion plant operation. For farms with up to 3600 animals, the highest net present value was achieved for the on-farm use of biogas. Farms larger than that achieved their best economic results via the production of biomethane. In total about 45% of Idaho’s dairy manure could be utilized by economicallymore » feasible biogas and biomethane plants. A higher manure utilization rate could be achieved through joint, cooperative anaerobic digestion plants and manure transportation. The results can be transferred to other regions and countries, respectively, to reduce the negative impact of intensive livestock farming.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]
  1. German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ), Leipzig (Germany)
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  3. German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ), Leipzig (Germany); Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ), Leipzig (Germany)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B); Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) (Germany); International Energy Agency (IEA)
OSTI Identifier:
1469342
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1478242
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-18-44477-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619; PII: S0306261918305695
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 222; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; manure utilization; anaerobic digestion; net present value; environmental impact; biogas; biomethane; 09 - BIOMASS FUELS

Citation Formats

Lauer, Markus, Hansen, Jason K., Lamers, Patrick, and Thrän, Daniela. Making money from waste: The economic viability of producing biogas and biomethane in the Idaho dairy industry. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.026.
Lauer, Markus, Hansen, Jason K., Lamers, Patrick, & Thrän, Daniela. Making money from waste: The economic viability of producing biogas and biomethane in the Idaho dairy industry. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.026.
Lauer, Markus, Hansen, Jason K., Lamers, Patrick, and Thrän, Daniela. Tue . "Making money from waste: The economic viability of producing biogas and biomethane in the Idaho dairy industry". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.026. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1469342.
@article{osti_1469342,
title = {Making money from waste: The economic viability of producing biogas and biomethane in the Idaho dairy industry},
author = {Lauer, Markus and Hansen, Jason K. and Lamers, Patrick and Thrän, Daniela},
abstractNote = {Farm operations in the USA and Europe have seen a radical change in the last decades: small sized farms are disappearing, and farm size and total livestock on larger farms are increasing. The resulting spatial density of animals causes several environmental impacts. Anaerobic digestion is one promising technical solution to alleviate most of these impacts while simultaneously providing a regional energy source. This analysis assesses the economic viability of using dairy-cow manure for either (i) the on-farm production and use of biogas to generate electricity and heat or (ii) the upgrading biogas to biomethane, a natural-gas substitute. A non-linear optimization model was developed to optimize plant capacity for anaerobic digestion and maximize the net present value for each option by farm size. In this study, we used Idaho‘s dairy farms as a case study. The analysis implies that at least 3000 cows per farm are required for an economically viable anaerobic-digestion plant operation. For farms with up to 3600 animals, the highest net present value was achieved for the on-farm use of biogas. Farms larger than that achieved their best economic results via the production of biomethane. In total about 45% of Idaho’s dairy manure could be utilized by economically feasible biogas and biomethane plants. A higher manure utilization rate could be achieved through joint, cooperative anaerobic digestion plants and manure transportation. The results can be transferred to other regions and countries, respectively, to reduce the negative impact of intensive livestock farming.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.026},
journal = {Applied Energy},
number = ,
volume = 222,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Sustainable Italian Cities: The Added Value of Biomethane from Organic Waste
journal, May 2019

  • Cucchiella, Federica; D’Adamo, Idiano; Gastaldi, Massimo
  • Applied Sciences, Vol. 9, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.3390/app9112221