Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and turning dairy cow manure into a revenue opportunity for farmers
WHILE BRINGING MORE RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS TO THE GRID
PRESIDENT & CEO
“Our Suburban Renewables platform allows us to grow our portfolio of renewable energy options, effectively tackling environmental challenges, and innovating for a sustainable future, all complemented by the clean air and climate benefits of traditional propane,” said Michael Stivala, President and Chief Executive Officer at Suburban Propane. “Our investment in the production of renewable natural gas at Adirondack Farms is our latest endeavor in our ongoing commitment to bring renewable energy solutions to local communities. Partnering with a family farm that has such a deep history and commitment to the people of upstate New York enables us to share our vision of providing safe and clean renewable energy.”
“Farmers are the original stewards of the land, and we do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At Adirondack Farms, we constantly evolve and innovate to ensure we remain viable in a competitive marketplace while preserving of our natural resources. Our partnership with Suburban Renewables provides us with the tools needed to take our recycling efforts to a new level, resulting in the production of renewable natural gas. We realize we are only a small part of a larger effort to combat climate change, but we want to demonstrate how the dairy industry is a leader in reducing emissions in our communities.”
There are over two thousand biodigester sites in the United States.1 Dairy farms across the country are using biodigesters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create revenue opportunities.
A biodigester is a device in which organic waste matter is digested by bacteria to produce biogas and a nutrient-rich slurry. The nutrient-rich slurry is used as fertilizer and the biogas is either burned directly in an electric generator to produce renewable electricity or it is processed into renewable natural gas (“RNG”). RNG is a drop-in replacement for natural gas that can be blended with existing natural gas and moved through the existing natural gas transmission and distribution system.
Anaerobic digestion takes place in an oxygen-lacking (anaerobic) container with temperatures and conditions favorable to microorganisms, the powerhouse of the digestion process. Biodegradable material such as manure, wastewater sludge, food waste, etc. is fed into the system. The microorganisms break down, or “digest” the organic material, creating biogas and digestate. Biogas contains mostly (50 – 75%)2 methane, plus carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, water, and trace compounds. Biogas can be used in place of fossil-based natural gas to generate electricity, heat, or even bioplastics, and can be further conditioned into renewable natural gas and transportation fuels. And the solid and liquid portions of the digestate have many beneficial uses--fertilizer, animal bedding, crop irrigation, soil amendment, sustainable building materials, etc.
Adirondack farms is a family-owned dairy farm in Peru, NY and has been operating a methane digester since 2017, creating energy that the community can use. Suburban Propane’s collaboration with Adirondack Farms will bring a new digester to the farm to produce renewable natural gas. Learn more about Adirondack Farms.