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Improving Anaerobic Digestion Efficiency of Hog Manure in Passive Heating Solar Greenhouses on the Canadian Prairies

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In cold climates, it is generally accepted that much of the methane produced by anaerobic digestion of animal wastes is used to keep the digester within the mesophillic range of operation (30–38° C), sometimes yielding little or no net annual production for electricity or facility heating. Optimizing digester tank insulation, enclosing the digester in a passive heating solar greenhouse, allowing influent to reach ambient greenhouse temperature and providing heat exchange between outflow and incoming digester wastes, the energy balance can be substantially improved. This paper uses data from a passive solar greenhouse, data from lagoon-fed and direct barn -fed hog manure to model a small pilot scale digester (2000 litre) at 50° latitude in Western Canada. Results indicate a greenhouse improved gas economy more than just insulation because a greenhouse allowed heat exchange and preheating of manure to ambient temperatures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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