Coupled Anaerobic Digester: Wetland System for Dairy Waste and Stormwater Treatment with Biogas Production

EPA Grant Number: SU834334
Title: Coupled Anaerobic Digester: Wetland System for Dairy Waste and Stormwater Treatment with Biogas Production
Investigators: Reinhold, Dawn
Current Investigators: Reinhold, Dawn , Ahlquist, Joseph , Faivor, Louis , Haan, Mat , Crook, Michelle , Triscari, Patrick , Henderson, Shannon , Safferman, Steve , Liao, Wei
Institution: Michigan State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2009 through August 14, 2010
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The objective of the project is to evaluate the designs of coupled anaerobic digester and treatment wetland systems to develop low-cost wastewater treatment systems for dairy wastewaters and stormwater with a return on investment through energy production.


Design will combine laboratory experimentation and reactor design to develop a system model for synthesis and optimization of three designs: separate digester and wetlands, a coupled digester:wetland system with land application of effluent, and a coupled system with surface discharge of effluent. Designs will be evaluated from both economic and environmental perspectives and feedback from faculty, industry professionals, and dairy producers will be incorporated into design recommendations for a MSU dairy.

Expected Results:

By coupling wastewater treatment and biogas production, the proposed design will increase sustainability by (i) decreasing pollution of waters, fields, and ecosystems, and (ii) providing a return-on-investment for wastewater and stormwater treatment, (iii) decreasing costs of milk production, and (iv) decreasing energy consumption and greenhouse gas production. Outcomes include laboratory assessments of variables affecting system function, independent models for the digester and wetlands, and a transportable system model for site-specific design. Through outreach, the project will educate students and dairy producers on incorporation of environmental and economic sustainability in design.

Supplemental Keywords:

duckweed, silage runoff, methane,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report