Dairgold  |  Aug 11, 2020
Written by Georgie Smith

Digesters have come a long way since the 1850s — when the first was installed at a leper colony in India.

Dan DuRuyter has experienced this first hand at his family’s 5000-cow farm in central Washington, George DeRuyter and Sons Dairies.

There he and partners have converted an aging manure digesting system to a state-of-the-art biomethane digester that converts 150,000 gallons of effluent a day into 160,000 million Btu’s of renewable natural gas (RNG) fuel for vehicles.

That’s the equivalent of about 1.4 million gallons of gasoline a year, according to Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based waste and energy company and one of the project partners.

DeRuyter says the upgrade will not only reduce the dairy’s greenhouse gas emissions, but also their overall environmental impact. This is particularly useful in the lower Yakima Valley, where dairies are often targeted for elevated nitrate levels in drinking water.

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