[Digestion] USA Industrial Food Derived BioGas Plants?

Douglas Renk douglasrenk at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 7 03:56:03 PDT 2010

Hello Evans,
For more information on the Corvallis project Juliette mentions, please contact development engineer Dean Foor at dean at ecoregon.com. The Cedar Grove, Washington project is being managed by BIOFerm Energy in Madison Wisconsin. They are actively building the first industrial scale food waste digester in the United States in Oshkosh Wisconsin. Below is an article comparing some of the top SSO projects in North America:
Best to you,Doug

--- On Wed, 10/6/10, Juliette Bohn <jbohn at HWMA.net> wrote:

From: Juliette Bohn <jbohn at HWMA.net>
Subject: Re: [Digestion] USA Industrial Food Derived BioGas Plants?
To: "For Discussion of Anaerobic Digestion" <digestion at lists.bioenergylists.org>
Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 3:18 PM



Hello all,  


Currently, in North America there are only a handful of food
waste digester projects (planned and existing).  The city of Toronto has
two stand-alone food waste digesters processing food waste from the residential
sector.  One of them (the Newmarket plant)  has been shut down and re-opened
at least once due to odor problems.  I am not sure if it is currently
operating or not.  The Dufferin Organics processing facility (also in
Toronto, Canada) has been the only stand-alone digester continuously operating
in North America to date. They are currently planning to build a second digester
facility and expand their operations.  In the US, the East Bay Municipal
Utility District in Oakland, CA has been co-digesting commercial food waste
with sewage sludge for the last 5 years or so. They are still in the pilot
phase of this project (+/- 40 tpd) and are working diligently on pre-processing
treatment trains appropriate for municipal food waste.   In Davis, CA
there is the pilot high-rate two stage digester system – I believe
someone else sent an article about this. They have not yet run it continuously,
but are working to get a commercial system installed to prove the technology.
The Inland Empire Utilities Agency has been co-digesting manure with food waste
and fats, oils, and grease for awhile now.  They are now re-commissioning
a waste water treatment digester to digest food waste. Cedar Grove composting
in Washington is also installing a food waste digester – they have
permitting completed and have selected a technology through the RFP process.
They expect to break ground on the project in the near future.  There is
also a project in southern Oregon – I just caught wind of this one –
I believe it is in Corvallis, OR.  I think they have permitting and a technology
selected as well.   There are a few other projects in the early planning
phases, as well as projects that handle homogenous industrial food waste streams
(i.e., onions or brewery wastes) if you are interested to know more, send me an


And last, but certainly not least, Humboldt County is working to
develop a regional food waste digester facility. This facility is being
developed by the Humboldt Waste Management Authority – a joint powers
authority that manages the solid waste for the county.  I am the project
manager for this effort. Currently, we are about to release our CEQA permitting
documents and hope to have our permits in place early next year so that we can
go to an RFP.  We have financing plans, a site, and groundswell of support
from the community.  We plan to accept commercial and industrial food wastes
in the first phase of development.  Again, if you wish to know more,
please contact me directly. 


As for the heart of your question about construction methods and
contractors/engineers used, you might try to contact the Dufferin plant or the
Davis/On site Power group – although this information will not likely
transfer to other sites.  The gist of the situation is that there are MANY
digester technology vendors who want to get their toes into the US
market.  They are willing to design/build/own & operate or any variation
of that arrangement. Construction methods will depend on the system chosen
(i.e. dry digesters are very different from wet, also different form a high
solids systems etc.), as well as the facility site, and the application. In our
case, local engineers will likely be utilized for the site preparation, electrical
connections, and pipe fitting etc. The construction of the digester system itself
will probably be handled by contractors chosen by the technology vendor.  


Municipal food waste digestion is spreading like wildfire here
in the US, and it is only a matter of the early adopters getting systems off
the ground and providing cost and operating data for the technology to take off. 
There are carbon offset protocols in place, and in CA the state waste
management agency (CalRecycle) is developing a programmatic EIR to assist in the
development of increased food waste digester capacity.   


There is a lot more to tell, so if you would like to follow up,
please feel free to contact me directly.   I am happy to talk with
you about the project proposed for your area, as well as discuss some of the
current technological and political discourse surrounding this type of







Juliette Bohn 

Program Analyst   

Energy and Waste Management 

Humboldt Waste Management Authority 

1059 W. Hawthorne St. 

Eureka CA, 95501 

(707) 268-8680 

digestion-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:digestion-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of evans

Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 11:26 AM

To: digestion at lists.bioenergylists.org

Subject: [Digestion] USA Industrial Food Derived BioGas Plants? 



I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me if there are any committed
plans to build food derived industrial biogas plants in the US? 

It is my understanding that there is not much experience with this sort of
endeavor in North America and zero precedents for America. 

I am looking for case studies of city-scale industrial biogas plants as there
are developers in my area who wish to build this kind of project and 

I would like to assist in this effort but am having difficulty in locating
credible North American case studies. 

Projects do not have to be completed and any information would be helpful, but
I am looking for data that refers to construction methods and
contractors/engineers used.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



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