Barn to Biogas: Powering a Cleaner World

Posted By: Tom Bachman ACEC WI News, Awards,

2024 Engineering Excellence Best of State

Entering Firm: Mead & Hunt Inc.
Client: DTE Vantage

In the face of escalating greenhouse gas emissions and unabated climate change, companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and stabilize energy usage. DTE Vantage wanted to partner with a major dairy farm to produce sustainable energy but the lack of infrastructure in the area and untested processes were major hurdles.

Designing the Right Energy Solution

Mead & Hunt designed a system that generates renewable natural gas (RNG) from the manure of over 10,000 cows. A transfer system collects manure from every barn and brings it to a central location for anaerobic digestion. Smaller farms in the area can also deliver their manure for processing.

The digestion process eliminates the manure and creates biogas in the process. Two digesters are each capable of processing 2.5 million gallons of manure. From there, the biogas is processed on-site to convert it to high-pressure RNG. This RNG is then loaded into trucks and used as fuel for vehicles.

Awards judge Matt Dapp said “The Barn to Biogas project, which converts manure to RNG is a stand—out design/construction project. The 2.5 MG digesters, biogas upgrade system, truck loading facility and pipeline injection point provides clean energy for more than 1,600 vehicles per year – a notable project serving the Birnamwood area and beyond!”

A Sustainable Future

The team’s solutions turns waste into sustainable energy.  This project does more than benefit the farm and client. It contributes to a more sustainable dairy industry by reducing carbon emissions. 

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