Solid-State Biodigester Designed for Western Canadian Conditions

With concerns around climate change, the availability of non-renewable resources, and increasing the sustainability of industries as a whole, it is not surprising that organizations like the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) are looking at ways to harness energy that is otherwise wasted.

I recently spoke to Joy Agnew, project manager at PAMI, about their Solid State Anaerobic Digester (SSAD) pilot project at the Western Beef Development Centre’s annual field day. The SSAD was actually recognized in June at the 21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark.  

The majority of biodigesters in Europe and the United States work with liquid material only, making the SSAD in Saskatchewan a unique and exciting project. The SSAD provides an oxygen-free environment for microgorganisms to break down solid waste and collects the resulting gases, which can then be harnessed as energy.

What about the leftover solid material within the digester? Is it valuable as compost? And, will this form of digestion provide a means of bio-security through safe carcass disposal? 

In this video, Agnew explains how the SSAD functions, the by-products that result and the future role it may have in the agriculture industry.

Patricia Lung, Joy Agnew and Carry Sampson are pictured above, with the poster that was recognized in Europe. Unfortunately, without anyone there to accept the recognition, PAMI had to forfeit the award.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.


Debra Murphy

Debra Murphy is a Field Editor based out of east central Alberta, where she never misses a moment to capture with her camera the real beauty of agriculture. Follow her on Twitter @RealAg_Debra


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