Biogas is primarily methane emitted from organic material decomposing in landfills, and can also be produced by processing organic waste streams – like animal manure, food waste, and sewage sludge – in anaerobic digesters known as “biodigesters.”
Biodigseters are typically found on farms or at wastewater treatment plants. Biogas can be captured and used at these facilities to produce renewable natural gas, and/or to generate baseload renewable electricity. That process also creates valuable byproducts like fertilizer, compost, soil amendments, and animal bedding.
Capturing and converting biogas allows agricultural facilities, municipal landfills, and large food waste generators across the U.S. to better manage their biowaste – and to keep it from harming our water, air, and soil. In many cases, operating an anaerobic digester could provide a valuable source of revenue for farmers and would eliminate smells and runoff from their communities.
Today, there are only 2,100 sites producing biogas in the U.S. But, according to the American Biogas Council, an estimated 13,000 sites – 8,000 on small dairy and poultry farms, 2,500 at wastewater treatment plants, and 440 landfills — are considered candidates for development. If developed, these new sites would support thousands of new jobs and drive new revenue to rural economies.
Luke Brubaker -- a participant in President Trump's Farmer's Roundtable -- operates an anaerobic digester on his award-winning family dairy in Pennsylvania.
Animal farming operations along the Shenandoah River can create dangerous run off. Anaerobic digestion is one way to deal with problematic animal waste.