This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 03, 2002

Wisconsin to Draw on Animal Waste for 15 Megawatts of Power

Environmental Power Corporation announced last week that it has entered into a 15-year contract to produce electricity from animal wastes for the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. The company will use anaerobic digesters to convert animal and other wastes into methane, which will then be burned to produce electricity. Environmental Power will draw on multiple installations to provide up to 15 megawatts of generating capacity. See the Environmental Power press release.

Researchers at New Mexico State University (NMSU) have developed a process that may be more efficient at producing methane from waste. Their two-stage fermentation process involves first mixing solid waste with cattle manure, then adding water and bacteria to convert the mixture into volatile fatty acids. In the second stage of the process, a different type of bacteria is used to generate methane from the mixture. The process is capable of producing a gas consisting of 70 to 80 percent methane, according to the researchers. See the NMSU press release.