Case Study

Eliminating Methane Production

Addressing The Dairy Industry’s Methane Problem

Amassed controversy surrounding the dairy industry’s environmental impact has grown exponentially and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has responded with vigorous new policies. This translates to 1,750 farms needing to solve the methane (CH₄ ) equation.

While the state has focused its efforts so far on anaerobic digestors via initiatives like the Dairy Digestor Research and Development Program (DDRDP), experts doubt the technology’s ability to meet the mark of a 40% decrease in CH₄ emissions by 2030 on its own.

This is where Aequion’s team of lead engineer’s decided an effective, affordable option was necessary, providing long-term dairy sustainability. The Model 06 D EMOH™ unit was the answer.

Problem

  • Extreme concentrations of methane and ammonia
  • Highly-anaerobic lagoon water
  • Heavy saturation of manure solids
  • Long-term sustainability
  • Complying to the state’s 2030 ambitions
  • Significant cost of alternative technologies

CH₄ from dairy livestock is a biproduct of enteric fermentation and manure management. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pound for pound the comparative impact of CH₄ is over 25x greater than CO₂ on a 100-year scale. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) reports that dairy production contributes 60% of total agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and account for 35% of total methane emissions in California.

Solution

  • Model 06 EMOH™ D

Result

  • Eliminated over 90% of methane and ammonia in 150-days
  • Successfully converted entire lagoon to aerobic
  • Increased dissolved oxygen (DO) from 3 mg/L to 10 mg/L in just 90 days
  • Achieved a 60% reduction in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Decreased Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), total dissolved and suspended solids by 70%
  • Visibly cleaner lanes of lagoon’s surface with added benefit of hoof health and less slippage

References

Bloetscher, F., Meeroff, D.E., Roblyer, J. and Prymas, A. (2018) Algal Control in Warm Weather Pond Using EMOH Device. Journal of Environmental Protection, 9, 882-894.

California Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2000 to 2016 [PDF]. (2016). California Air Resources Board.

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