You like what you have heard about biogas, but if you live outside western and central Europe, there are questions. What are the potential revenue streams? How profitable is it? Who are reliable technology providers? Are grants and incentives available? Is the project feasible? These were all questions asked by Beijing company Jianyan (above) before Jim Muir presented a strategic agreement for them to exclusively represent an American biogas technology provider in China.

Circumstances change radically from country to country – and in the USA, from state to state. Fortunately, Agricultural Digesters LLC understands what works well – and what may work even better at your farm.

In addition, we are authorized agents for a small, custom sized digester. This inexpensive, yet robust system can provide reliable revenue streams for small and medium size farms (200-750 adult cows). A market segment under-served until now.

Before forming Agricultural Digesters LLC we increased market share for biogas technology providers and developers via contact with farmers, agents, waste providers, banks and governmental organizations. Our international experience means integrating a methane digester into your farm’s operations will be smooth, and revenue streams maximized.

The Agricultural Digesters team has advised developers and farmers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Sweden, England, Canada, New Guinea, Taiwan, Guam, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and China. They have made face to face presentations in Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Greece, Canada and China as well as the USA.

Pragma (web page above) is an international development company “delivering cutting-edge solutions for the world’s most intractable challenges”. Their headquarters are in Washington DC with offices in Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen. The financial assistance of USAid will allow them to utilize the expertise of  Agricultural Digesters LLC to incorporate renewable electricity into their agricultural park project in Jordan.

Friend and colleague, Xaydar Mouktarov, at Moscow exhibition describing biogas technology to Grigoriy Aksanian, Senior Industry Development Expert of the Russian National Union of Pig Breeders.

Black pigs, supposedly descended from those used by Alexander the Great to feed his troops. A proposed project was to build a digester to process the waste of these unique animals – in the shadow of Mt. Olympus in Greece,

Presentation of American biogas technology to one of Turkey’s largest agricultural holding companies. They wanted to digest the manure on three of their modern dairy farms.

Every anaerobic digestion project (biogas) is unique and the farmer or developer must determine which revenue streams can bring the greatest benefit. Depending on the market:

  • Electricity or natural gas can be produced and used by the farm – the excess sold to the grid.
  • “Tipping” fees can be collected from waste haulers.
  • The separated solid output from dairy digesters can be used as animal bedding or sold to nurseries.
  • Pathogen reduction means less air, soil and water pollution, reduced mastitis rates, and avoidance of fines.
  • Combined heat and power generators run 24/7 providing reliable electricity and heat where energy is not dependable.
  • Generated carbon credits can be sold and renewable energy credits are tradable commodities.
  • In addition, Agricultural Digesters is now developing new markets for the sale of excess solids.

Midday pollution in Beijing caused by fossil fuels. The government encourages renewables such as biogas.

Visiting farm with 40,000 pigs of various sizes outside Chisinau, Moldova. Cold temperatures can kill off a pig farmer’s young stock. Heat produced by a digester ensures that needed warmth.

Chinese pharmaceutical company Baohetang discussing pig manure and organic waste project in Pennsylvania, USA.

Marco Florian of ENAD (Italy) introducing project plans of Greek developer (right) for three, three mw, corn silage only, anaerobic digesters.

There are regional factors driving biogas development. For example:

  • Several American states have established limits on incinerating food waste which can become a potent feedstock.
  • The value of renewable natural gas (RNG) is increasing rapidly due to environmental incentives. Upgrading biogas into RNG increases profits and we have access to affordable, gas cleaning equipment.
  • Dependence on the world’s largest fossil fuel suppliers is a political liability for countries. Agriculturally based electricity and natural gas are a partial solution.
  • The price paid for biogas, the green tariff, varies from country to country and state to state. In the USA they are increasing.
  • Expensive electricity from local utilities can be replaced by a farm’s digester.
  • Pig waste in Europe and Russian speaking countries is an environmental issue and farmers face government fines if their manure management is unsatisfactory. A digester solves this problem.

Ilias Papageorgiadis, President of the Romanian Association of Biomass and Biogas (ARBIO) in Bucharest. Until 2013 Romania offered the highest prices for green electricity, over 40 cents/kW.

Friend and colleague Dmitry Beskurinikov (left) of Russian American Trade and Investment Consulting (Washington D.C.) discussing converting Russia's pig manure into energy. Engine room was heated by a combined heat and power generator fueled by manure from the farm outside.

Renewable energy conference presented by America’s Millenium Challenge Corporation in Chisinau, the capital of the small agricultural country of Moldova. Jim Muir said “Since the wine industry accounts for 20 percent of GDP and employs 27 percent of Moldova’s labor force, we feel that Moldova is one of the ideal places on earth for our process”.

Russian pig farmer, Anton Permyakov of Voronezh (left), visiting a rare cold weather pig digester in Pennsylvania, USA.

Jim Muir and an American biogas technology provider meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine to discuss the financing of a potential biogas project there. The plan was to utilize agricultural substrates including slaughter waste. Due to the political situation it could not go forward at the time.