The Design and Development of an Experimental Anaerobic Digester for Organic Waste
Esther Ososanya, Ph.D.
School of Engineering
The ever growing demand for energy world-wide can only be met by considering the possible range of energy solutions and the technology to produce emerging sources of energy to reduce our dependence on oil, a non renewable fossil fuel. Renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and alternative fuels are promising clean energy resources of the future, which are environmentally friendly and which sources replenish itself or cannot be exhausted. Biomass energy is derived from waste of various human and natural activities, including municipal solid waste, manufacturing waste, agricultural crops waste, wood chips, dead trees, leaves, livestock manure, hotels and restaurant wastes, etc., which are abundant anywhere and everywhere, at any time. Any of these sources can be used to fuel biomass energy production with the design of an efficient digester or processing plant to harness the energy from the biological mass. Mechanical engineering students are designing 50 gallon digester tanks with a stirrer inside and heat coils around the tank. The digestate from the digester will be used for composting. The design has been sent for fabrication. In addition, the students are conducting energy calculations using information from Purdue University on 50 cow farms, conducting mathematical modeling of anaerobic digestion using ADM 1 and fuzzy logic Matlab. By designing and building a new Anaerobic Digester, a number of possible solutions to alternative energy can be experimented which include digestion of animal waste, organic wastes, and bio wastes. This study, conducted by Dr. Esther Ososanya, School of Engineering.