DVO Inc. Announces First Anaerobic Digester Installation in California
Installation and construction is nearly complete on a DVO Inc. anaerobic digester scheduled to open at Calgren Renewable Fuels on September 30, 2014 in Pixley, California. This is DVO’s first installation in California, and the state’s only next-generation anaerobic digester.
Anaerobic digestion (AD), is a collection of processes by which naturally occurring microorganisms transform waste into valuable by-products in a controlled, oxygen-free environment. DVO’s patented Two-Stage Mixed Plug Flow anaerobic digester is unlike any other technology. Traditional AD technologies featuring above-ground tanks are inefficient and costly to operate.
The DVO anaerobic digester, built by Andgar of Ferndale, Washington, is designed to hold approximately 1,400,000 gallons of manure and organic waste. Each day, the digester will receive 55,000 gallons of solid and liquid waste from Four J Farm Dairy, a nearby dairy farm with approximately 2,000 head of cattle.
Biogas, one of the many valuable by-products of the anaerobic digestion process, will replace thousands of gallons of natural gas currently being used by the Calgren on-site cogeneration facility to produce 55 million gallons of ethanol each year.
Biosolids, another beneficial by-product of anaerobic digestion, will be sent back to Four J Farm Dairy to be used as a high-quality and low pathogen count cattle bedding. Liquid nutrients from the digestion process will also make its way back to the farm to fertilize growing crops.
“The Calgren facility and Four J Farm Dairy will not be the only ones to benefit from the addition of DVO’s anaerobic digester,” said Steve Dvorak, owner and founder of DVO, Inc. “Our digesters reduce the environmental impact from farm waste greenhouse gas emissions by over 90 percent, pathogens in the digested waste are greatly reduced, often to the point of non-detection, and up to 97 percent odor reduction is achieved as biogas is burned.”
The DVO anaerobic digester at Calgren will be cost effective and reliable. Staff members at Calgren will facilitate daily operations and routine maintenance of the digester.
DVO, Inc., also recently announced its support for the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap, a report issued this summer by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.
“We’re encouraged by the very existence of this Roadmap,” said Steve Dvorak, President of DVO. “It will help educate government agencies, the dairy industry and the public on the numerous economic and environmental benefits of anaerobic digestion.”
The Roadmap cites the need to strengthen markets for biogas systems and system products, including energy and other value-added products. It adds that dairy farms of all sizes could enhance their revenues through nitrogen and phosphorus recovery made possible through advanced anaerobic digestion technology.
“Those of us close to the industry have known for a long time that best practice anaerobic digestion provides important sources of revenue while reducing emissions,” said Dvorak. “The roadmap suggests necessary steps that provide a ‘win-win’ environment for digester applications and represents an important stride in the evolution of our industry.”
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.