Dairy farms have large carbon footprints, and conventional manure storage is the largest contributor. Manure stored in lagoons breaks down without the benefit of oxygen. This anaerobic slurry produces and emits methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
To reduce these greenhouse gas emissions, NativeEnergy helps build two types of projects on farms.
Anaerobic Manure Digesters
In the 1980s, after the first energy crisis, a few hundred manure waste-to-energy digester systems were built in the U.S. These utilized captured biogas to generate electrical power. Like solar and wind systems at the time, the digester technology was not mature and falling electricity prices halted their expansion.
Today, rising energy costs and multiple environmental concerns—especially methane pollution—are demanding their return. With a digester, farmers can use less fossil fuel for heating and displace electricity on the power grid, keeping many tons of CO2 out of the air. Digesters also help control local odor problems and improve nutrient management, which reduces water pollution in local waterways.
Manure Separation Equipment
Manure separation technology removes the solids from manure slurry stored in lagoons. Keeping organic matter from entering the slurry prevents the anaerobic decomposition that produces methane.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the separation process offers several other benefits for farmers. It provides a source of cow bedding material for the farm, which is cheaper than sawdust and more comfortable for the animals. It also cuts nutrient management costs and reduces the potential for runoff pollution in vulnerable watersheds.
This project uses manure separation technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient runoff, and operating costs on a Pennsylvania farm.
This project uses manure separating and compost technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the financial outlook for one of Connecticut’s few remaining dairy farms.
NativeEnergy is helping the community of Enumclaw, Washington, build an energy-producing methane digester.
NativeEnergy helped fund improvements to a manure digester that powered the Noblehurst Dairy Farm with renewable energy.
NativeEnergy helped install a methane digester on the Mains Dairy Farm in southern Pennsylvania.
NativeEnergy helped the award-winning Brubaker Family Farm install a greenhouse gas-reducing manure digester.
NativeEnergy helped the Saylor family install an anaerobic methane digester on their dairy farm.
NativeEnergy helped fund a manure digester on the 700-cow Penn England Farm.
NativeEnergy helped the Wanner family build a methane digester that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and produces surplus renewable energy.
This project reduces greenhouse gas emissions on a Pennsylvania dairy farm.
With the help of NativeEnergy, the Schrack family installed a greenhouse gas-reducing manure digester on their farm.