Michigan State U opens AD facility

By Staff | October 07, 2013

Michigan State University recently celebrated the opening of an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility that will take in waste from its farms and dining halls, creating energy for several campus buildings. The system will take in approximately 17,000 tons of organic waste and generate 2.8 million kWh of electricity per year. The campus is also home to a small AD system used for research purposes.

According to Dana Kirk, a specialist from MSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering who is overseeing the project, approximately 20 percent of the energy produced by the new system is used to sustain the anaerobic digestion process. The remaining 80 percent is available for on-campus use. “This system is the largest on a college campus in the United States,” Kirk said.

The MSU AD project is one of four on-campus AD systems highlighted during a recent Biomass Magazine webinar. During the event, Kirk spoke about the university’s Anaerobic Digestion Research Education Center, which was founded in 2008 to provide research, evaluation and education related to integrated AD systems for small- and medium-sized facilities.