Farm project converts cattle waste to energy

In eastern Iowa cattle farmer, who has put a strong emphasis on conservation, has found a cost-effective and environmentally-sound way to deal with manure: he is turning cattle waste into energy.

AgriReNew, a business enterprise of Sievers Family Farm in Stockton, constructed a mesophilic anaerobic digester following expansion of their cattle farm. Sievers Family Farm expanded its cattle feeding enterprise from 500 head in 2010 to 2,400 head in its custom feeding business in 2011.

The digester is capable of producing 1,000 kilowatts or 24 megawatts daily. It was engineered by Organic Waste Systems from Belgium and had a price tag in excess of $7 million.

Bryan Sievers, manager and owner of AgriReNew, began researching the idea for the methane digester in 2007.

"The motivation behind...

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