From Waste to Biogas
Did you know that cows’ manure can be used for more than fertilizer on a field? A new demonstration biodigester, built by SRC, at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in Ottawa shows visitors how manure can be broken down by micro-organisms to produce a renewable energy called biogas.
How does a biodigester work? Watch this video.
This custom-built biodigester is an integral part of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation’s Let Talk Energy initiative at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.
(Download the full version)
What is a biodigester?
A biodigester is like a mechanical stomach. It is fed with organic material, which is broken down (decomposed) by micro-organisms (bacteria) is an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment to produce a renewable energy called biogas (methane and carbon dioxide) and other material that is mainly used as fertilizer.
What materials can the biodigester process? What is fed into this one?
Any organic material can be used to feed a biodigester, but some materials work better than others because they are easier for bacteria to digest. This anaerobic digester is fed animal manure from farm animals.
What is the production capacity of this biodigester?
The digester is designed to produce about five cubic meters (25 full bath tubs or 2 large garbage bags per hour) per day of biogas (60% methane, 39% carbon dioxide), at full capacity with good organic material. The biogas produced over one week is equivalent to 23 litres of gasoline.
What are the benefits of using a biodigester?
A biodigester produces biogas, which is a renewable resource that can be used as a substitute or replacement for natural gas.
Biogas can be used to reduce on-farm costs or to generate revenue streams by allowing farmers to produce their own heat by feeding the biogas into the natural gas system; powering an electrical generator to provide electricity on the farm; using the remaining product as organic fertilizer on the farm or selling it