Anaerobic Digester Opens At MSU

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Michigan State University has commissioned an anaerobic digester to create energy for its East Lansing campus. The digester will utilize about 17,000 tons of organic waste to generate 2.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The organic material used by the system includes cow manure, food waste from several campus dining halls; fruit and vegetable waste from the Meijer Distribution Center in Lansing; and fat, oils and grease from local restaurants. It will take 20 to 30 days to digest the material in the 450,000 gallon tanks. Total cost of the project was about $5 million, and is expected to pay for itself in less than 15 years. MSU is also involved in a similar project in Costa Rica that will provide power to a local village.