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Abstract

In the United States anaerobic digestion units are in place on several farms but primarily handle manure and very small fractions of other organic material. AGreen Energy's business model aims to increase the profitability of dairy farmers and the food processing industry by utilizing organic feedstocks produced in urban areas while reducing the risk to investors by installing an expensive technology which better meets the needs of environmental regulators. An assessment is conducted that quantifies environmental impact through estimates of useable energy produced and carbon emissions avoided by AGreen Energy's project to install anaerobic digesters on five Massachusetts farms. The analysis shows the anaerobic co-digestion of manure and source separated organics under project conditions results in a net energy gain of 1:2.9 and a GHG emissions reduction of 50% over business as usual justifying the technique as a sustainable residual management tool for dairy operations as well as food industry businesses.

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