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TYPES

OF DIGESTERS

Types of Digesters

Covered Lagoon Complete Mix Plug Flow Fixed Media

Typical Digesters in Midwest


Covered Lagoon Level of Technology Complete Mix Medium/High Plug Flow

Low Deep lagoon


No

Medium

Digestion Vessel
Supplemental Heat

Round, square Rectangular in/above ground in ground


Yes Yes

Typical Digesters, cont.


Covered Lagoon
Solids Concentration HRT 1 (days) Optimum Location 0.5-2% 45+ Warm climates

Complete Mix
3-8% 15+ All climates

Plug Flow
6-11% 15+ All climates

HRT = Hydraulic Retention Time

Covered Lagoon
GAS UTILIZATION LAND APPLICATION

Cover
COLLECTION
PRETREATMENT DIGESTER STORAGE

Lagoon typically Source: EPA 2005

-2% solids

Covered Lagoon

Advantages:

Relatively inexpensive to build Adaptable to hydraulic flushing Construction and management is simple

Limitations:

Limited to warm weather areas since digestion depends on temperature Manure not completely digested, so odor released when land applied

Source: David Downing, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 2002

Plug Flow Digester


GAS UTILIZATION LAND APPLICATION

COLLECTION PRETREATMENT DIGESTER STORAGE

Slurry typically 6 - 11% solids Source: EPA 2005

Plug Flow Digester

Advantages:

Medium cost range Simpler design Less labor/management intensive to operate

Limitations:

Most compatible with daily scrape dairy systems Requires pre-mix tank

Source: David Downing, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 2002

Complete Mix Digester


GAS UTILIZATION LAND APPLICATION

COLLECTION PRETREATMENT
DIGESTER

STORAGE

Slurry typically 3-10% solids Source: EPA 2005

Complete Mix System

Advantages:

Mechanical mixers prevents crust and keeps solids from collecting on the bottom of the digester tank, delaying cleaning Requires more maintenance

Limitations:

Source: David Downing, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 2002

Plug Flow Digester

Advantages:

Medium cost range Simpler design Less labor/management intensive to operate

Limitations:

Most compatible with daily scrape dairy systems Requires pre-mix tank

Source: David Downing, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 2002

Fixed-film Anaerobic Filter

Upflow digester with porous media Bacteria grows on media and feeds on organics passing by Wastewater passes thru in 4-6 days but slow-growing bacteria remain in digester Low Food:Mass ration makes system stable

Safety Considerations

Methane is extremely explosive when mixed with air at the proportions of 615 percent methane Digester gas is heavier than air and settles to the ground, displacing oxygen If hydrogen sulfide is present, digester gas can be a deadly poison

Source: EPA 2005 1 2-Stage Mix 26 Complete Mix 51 Plug Flow

5 1 13 Mesophilic Fixed Ambient Covered Media lagoon Temperature Covered Lagoons

Agricultural Digesters in US

REFERENCES
1) http://www.epa.gov/outreach/agstar/iondex.htm 2) (www.envcc.com)