Feasibility and Life Cycle Assessment of Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Campus Food Waste and Swine Manure

EPA Grant Number: SU835694
Title: Feasibility and Life Cycle Assessment of Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Campus Food Waste and Swine Manure
Investigators: Costello, Christine
Current Investigators: Costello, Christine , Prescott, Amanda , Davis, Austin , Davis, Jeremy , Tellatin, Samantha
Institution: University of Missouri - Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $14,874
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Air Quality , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


To determine the economic and engineering feasibility of treating food waste mixed with swine manure using anaerobic digestion (AD) and to quantify environmental sustainability metrics, including energy use, greenhouse gases, and nutrients recovered.


This proposal will conduct bench-scale anaerobic digestion trials of various combined quantities of food waste and swine manure to identify the optimal mix. A student design team will use these results and values from peer-reviewed literature to conduct an engineering, economic and environmental life cycle assessment at a larger scale with the goal of optimizing across these three areas to optimally treat organic waste. Food waste streams will be separated into edible and inedible portions in order to identify key differences in performance of the AD under status quo (current edible and inedible ratios) and an idealized scenario in which all edible food waste avoids the waste stream, representing the EPA’s food waste management hierarchy.

Expected Results:

This project will result in data to characterize the anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and swine manure, a poster and a detailed report describing lab analysis results and the overall feasibility with regard to engineering, economic and environmental performance of the anaerobic co-digestion of food waste. Differences between edible and inedible food waste streams will be specifically addressed. Senior bioengineering students will develop project management, lab trial and life cycle assessment knowledge and skills.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

co-digestion, alternative energy source, renewable energy, waste to energy

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report