Interesting Facts about Anaerobic Digestion
Anaerobic Digestion Facts
Anaerobic digestion is a natural process in which organic waste materials are broken down in the absence of oxygen. There are two byproducts of anaerobic digestion: renewable energy and a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Although it’s a widely used process, not many people are fully aware of the benefits this amazing technology brings society. Here are some interesting facts on anaerobic digestion!
1. Anaerobic digestion has been around since the 1800’s. India, China and Western European countries have been employing this technology for decades.
2. An anaerobic digester is an airtight container that contains no oxygen, and is maintained at a specific temperature. Here, naturally occurring microorganisms, or what we like to call our “bugs”, break down any incoming organic material.
3. Fats, oils and greases (also known as FOGs) and food waste create the most biogas when put into a digester.
4. Digesters can range from the size of a large refrigerator to a small building. The size of a digester depends on the volume of organic waste that being inputted into the system, and the rate at which the digester can breakdown the organic material.
5. Anaerobic digestion mimics the process of a human stomach during digestion. Like a stomach, the bacteria present in anaerobic digesters require nutrient-rich feedstock and essential vitamins to survive. Any toxins or harsh chemicals will make the digester sick and unable to function properly.
6. Inorganic materials that make it into an anaerobic digester will not get broken down. Man-made materials, such as plastics and glass, and other materials, like rocks and metals, are considered inorganic materials.
7. Biogas produced from anaerobic digestion is comprised primarily of methane gas, which is captured and converted into renewable energy and heat.
Anaerobic digestion is a fairly newer technology to the United States. This process keeps waste out of the landfill, which can lower greenhouse gas emissions and help us curb the consequences of climate change. Join the discussion on anaerobic digestion to keep our communities happier and environment healthier!