Anaerobic Digestion Technology

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a natural process in which bacteria breaks down biodegradable material in an oxygen-free environment and converts it into methane. By recreating this process in a controlled environment in anaerobic digesters, AD becomes a form of waste-to-value technology that allows us to capture the methane and convert it into biogas and soil amendments.

Further purification converts biogas into biomethane, also known as renewable natural gas (RNG). Biogas can also be converted into electrical energy and thermal energy. 

Anaerobic digesters may be stand-alone digesters, or they can operate on-site at wastewater treatment plants and on farms. Feedstock for anaerobic digesters includes pig and cow manure, silage, food waste, among other forms of organic waste. Feedstock should always be carefully considered in the development of anaerobic digestion projects.

Anaerobic Digestion Statistics

Anaerobic digestion projects contribute to energy generation and climate change mitigation by turning waste into low-carbon fuel and natural agriculture products such as fertilizer, which can replace synthetic variations that are detrimental to ecosystems and the health of humans and wildlife. 

The environmental benefits of anaerobic digestion are recognized by the Innovation Center for US Dairy, which leverages AD to achieve sustainability goals while providing a waste management solution for cow manure. 

Because state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) consider biogas from anaerobic digesters a form of renewable energy, AD is aiding the nation’s transition to renewable energy. 

The value of AD projects is reflected in these statistics: 

  • RNG derived from animal manure, food, and green waste via anaerobic digestion have a lower carbon intensity than natural gas derived from fossil fuels. These forms of RNG are also carbon negative. 
  • According to the EPA, manure-based anaerobic digesters reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 5.29 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2020. 
  • In the US, the equivalent of around 1.59 million megawatt-hours of electricity was generated by manure-based anaerobic digesters in the US.
  • An estimated 1 billion kilowatt-hour of electricity was generated by anaerobic digesters at municipal sewage treatment plants and industrial manufacturers in 2020.
Carbon intensity of natural gas

Recent Projects

Nexus PMG’s global experience in waste-to-value projects includes AD projects in the US and Mexico.

LocationPlantOur RoleYear
United StatesFood Waste to RNGDue Diligence2021
United StatesAD to RNGDue Diligence2021
United States – SouthDairy Manure AD to RNGDue Diligence2020
United States – MidwestWastewater to RNGDue Diligence2020
United StatesFood waste ADDue Diligence2020
United StatesAD to RNGDue Diligence2020
Mexico7K BPD Bio Jet Fuel Production FacilityDue Diligence2020
Oregon367,000 MMBTU Dairy RNG PlantProject Development2019
Arizona350,000 MMBTU Dairy RNG PlantProject Development2019
North Carolina650,000 MMBTU Dairy RNG PlantDue Diligence2017

To learn how Nexus PMG can help protect your interests, secure underwriting and deliver on time and on budget, contact the Nexus PMG team today.

Nexus PMG

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