Optimal location of centralized biodigesters for small dairy farms: A case study from the United States

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Deep Mukherjee
Robert G. Cromley
Farhed A. Shah
Boris E. Bravo-Ureta

Abstract

Anaerobic digestion technology is available for converting livestock waste to bio-energy, but its potential is far from fully exploited in the United States because the technology has a scale effect. Utilization of the centralized anaerobic digester (CAD) concept could make the technology economically feasible for smaller dairy farms. An interdisciplinary methodology to determine the cost minimizing location, size, and number of CAD facilities in a rural dairy region with mostly small farms is described. This study employs land suitability analysis, operations research model and Geographical Information System (GIS) tools to evaluate the environmental, social, and economic constraints in selecting appropriate sites for CADs in Windham County, Connecticut. Results indicate that overall costs are lower if the CADs are of larger size and are smaller in number.

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Author Biography

Deep Mukherjee, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur Kanpur 208016, UP, India

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences