Anaerobic digestion training offered

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Anaerobic digesters use organic material to create biogas

WOOSTER, Ohio — Ohio State University will hold a first-of-its-kind training course on anaerobic digestion, a waste management process that livestock farms and wastewater plants are increasingly using to produce biogas, a type of renewable fuel.

The course takes place Sept. 6-7 at the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster.

Getting started

“The (anaerobic digestion) industry is growing in Ohio, but there are no educational programs that provide an understanding of the scientific principles underlying the AD process or the daily management of an AD system,” said Yebo Li, the organizer of the course and an OARDC biosystems engineer.

Li said the course is designed for people who already work in the anaerobic digestion industry; those who want to find out if anaerobic digestion is right for their operation or business; and those who advise others on waste-management technologies.

The goal, he said, is to provide “a practical understanding of the digestion process.”

Anaerobic digesters take in waste materials, or “feedstocks,” such as livestock manure, food-processing waste and municipal sewage sludge, break them down under tightly controlled conditions, and in the process produce useful compost and methane biogas.

The second day includes a tour of quasar’s anaerobic digester on the OARDC campus and an operator panel featuring Chris Weaver of Bridgewater Dairy; Aleksandr Yakhnitsky of the city of Columbus’s digester; and Annette Berger, of KB Compost Services who also works with Akron’s digester.

The Cleveland-based quasar company designed, built and operates an anaerobic digestion system in OARDC’s BioHio Research Park and also has a lab in the park. Biogas from the quasar digester currently helps generate about a third of the electricity needs on OARDC’s main campus.

The system also produces compressed natural gas for use as an alternative fuel in cars and trucks, including about half of quasar’s fleet vehicles and four OARDC vehicles in a new demonstration project.

Registration

The course runs from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sept. 6 and from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 7, both days in OARDC’s Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

Registration costs $250 and includes all materials and continental breakfast, lunch and snacks on both days. The registration deadline is Aug. 31. Class size is limited to 25.

Participants should send their name, affiliation, address, telephone number, fax number and email address to Mary Wicks, OARDC/OSU, Administration Building, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Checks should be made payable to OARDC/OSU.

Participants will be eligible for 12.0 Ohio Professional Engineers continuing professional development credits. Continuing education credits also have been requested but not yet approved in the areas of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Waste Water Certification and Ohio Registered Sanitarians.

For more information, contact Wicks at 330-202-3533 or wicks.14@osu.edu, or download the program brochure at http://go.osu.edu/NND (pdf).

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