AgSTAR’s New Digester Project Development Handbook

Hot off the “press,” AgSTAR’s updated handbook is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for anaerobic digestion and biogas systems.

Nick Elger and Vanessa McKinney

AgSTAR’s New Digester Project Development HandbookFor 26 years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) AgSTAR Program has been helping farmers and communities across the United States develop and implement anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas systems. These systems are critical to reduce methane emissions from manure management operations, while also providing other environmental and economic benefits. As a trusted partnership program, AgSTAR helps educate the public on best practices for designing, implementing and maintaining digester projects and brings together leading experts to discuss opportunities and challenges for advancing the biogas industry.

Butler Farms, Lillington, North Carolina

AgSTAR’s newest resource, the Anaerobic Digester Project Development Handbook, is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for AD/ biogas systems. The goal of the Handbook is to ensure long-term project success for AD biogas systems by providing background and a framework for AD project development.

This 3rd edition of the Handbook covers the basics of AD/biogas systems, including an overview of the biology and chemistry of the system. It addresses key questions to ask when developing and implementing an AD project, including those related to complex business development aspects. While the fundamentals of AD/ biogas systems are carried over from previous editions, the 3rd edition nearly doubles the amount of content and discusses advances in AD that have occurred since 2004. There is new content on renewable natural gas (RNG), nutrient management best practices, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) — as well as reference to other types of manure management, if AD is not right for the operation.

Although “Project Development” is in the title, this publication is not just for AD project developers. The Handbook has over 100 pages and 11 Chapters of content, with topics relevant to policy makers, financiers, and others interested in implementing AD/ biogas systems.

10 Keys To Digester Success

The 10 Keys for Digester Success is a component of the Handbook that introduces the essentials for successful farm-based digester projects. This updated resource was developed with feedback from experts in AD/ biogas system project development and offers helpful tips to consider for start-up, implementation, operation and continuous improvement.

Crescent Farm, Haverhill, Massachusetts

A Connected Resource

In addition to details about AD/biogas system best practices, the Project Development Handbook contains links to dozens of additional resources from experienced professionals in the field to ensure that users have access to information beyond what is covered in the Handbook. The EPA AgSTAR Program is eager to keep growing the number of successful AD/ biogas systems in the U.S. Be sure to check out the new Anaerobic Digester Project Development Handbook, as well as the AgSTAR website to learn more.

Nick Elger and Vanessa McKinney

Nick Elger and Vanessa McKinney

Nick Elger is Program Manager for the EPA AgSTAR Program and serves as the Agriculture Lead with the Global Methane Initiative (GMI). In his role at AgSTAR, Nick works with the U.S. livestock industry, state and federal agencies, and biogas industry stakeholders to advance deployment of digesters and biogas systems. With GMI, he helps advance anaerobic digestion of organic feedstocks globally for methane mitigation and energy production.

Vanessa McKinney is Program Manager for EPA’s AgSTAR Program, where she works with U.S. livestock, biogas and government stakeholders to advance deployment of digesters and biogas systems. She has over a decade of experience in energy efficiency, renewable energy and air emissions regulation and policy.

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