Our company is currently building an anaerobic digester at Shalom Farms to provide fertilizer and methane gas for greenhouse heating. Volunteering our time to help non-profit organizations is a must- being that the spread of renewable energy knowledge is of utmost importance in these days of growing energy prices coupled with an economy that has seen better days.
The project at Shalom Farms will produce the largest garden waste fed digester in the state of Virginia. The captured methane will be used to heat one of the farm’s greenhouses and the digestate, or liquid fertilizer, will be used for fertilizing the farm’s many vegetable gardens. The anaerobic digester is 1500 gallons and will be heated by two solar thermal panels, so that the tank maintains a temperature of 80-100 degrees. This temperature is necessary for the bacteria in the tank to break down the garden waste and turn in into fertilizer and burnable methane gas. The gas will be supplied to a retrofitted natural gas heater located in the greenhouse, with the intention of creating a renewable heating source to maintain healthy growing temperatures in the cold winter months.
This digestion system is being used as a prototype for a much larger system that will soon be constructed in Bangladesh by a non-profit organization called Empower. Their mission is to take technologies to developing country garbage dumps- to improve the lives of those who rely on the dumps for survival. Yes, there are thousands of people out there,including children, who are scavenging through garbage to make a living. Empower is implementing landfill gas burning to create energy and anaerobic digestion technology to empower these people to have a means for bettering their lives. What cause is better than that?
Pictures and a timelapse video of the system that is currently being built will be updated soon!