Biogas production using anaerobic digestion of cattle and pig manure

By Guillermo Escobar and Matti Heikkila, OPET Finland - This report from the OPTEC Network gives an overview of energy recovery from pig and cow manure using anaerobic digestion. It reviews European projects within this field and several case studies. An additional section is devoted to current R&D both in Europe and in North America. Most of the information is in a downloadable report.
calendar icon 1 April 2001
clock icon 3 minute read
Section 2 of the report offers a detailed analysis of the anaerobic digestion process, that is, the process in which in the presence of dissolved oxygen, aerobic micro-organisms decompose biodegradable organic matter to carbon dioxide and water with release of heat to produce a natural compost process.

Section 3 presents data from a number on European projects which use this technology. Germany and Denmark are the most dynamic countries regarding their development. Most of European plants are small or medium-sized farm plants. The report also overviews on large-scale farms and community plants. Technical achievements and economic aspects are also given. The case studies include:
  1. Centralised manure digestion plant (Ribe, Denmark)
  2. Energy from animal wastes using anaerobic lagoon digesters (Southeast, USA)
  3. Biogas recovery from chicken manure for electricity and heat production (Nistelrode, The Netherlands)
  4. Collective biogas plant in Deersum (The Netherlands)
  5. Skinnerup on-farm biogas plant with gas storage (Skinnerup, Denmark)
  6. Electricity and heat from the anaerobic digestion of farm wastes (Shrewsbury, Shropshire; United Kingdom)
  7. Centralised biogas plant for animal, industrial and municipal wastes (Sinding-Orre, Denmark)
  8. Anaerobic digestion of pig slurry provides fuel for electricity and heat (Piddlehinton, Dorset; United Kingdom)
Section 5 provides an overview of the R&D priorities, focusing predominantly on how to improve gas production and consumption from manure fermentation.

Section 6 contains a draft overview of the AD situation in Europe and North America (specifically in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain, and the USA).

Section 7 presents several performance and investment indicators which will help farmers to assess the investment, operating and maintenance costs as well as energy production yields and economic savings resulting from AD projects.

References are also provided.


It is a consistent, exhaustive and updated document which offers an good technical overview of the field. It would be useful to all OPETs working in this area.

Download the full report

Biogas production in farms, using anaerobic digestion of cattle and pig manure. Case studies and research activities in Europe.

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