Encouraging Adoption of Anaerobic Digestion

CANADA - DGH Engineering suggests it will take a combination of economic incentives to encourage the adoption of anaerobic digestion for processing livestock manure in Canada, Bruce Cochrane writes.
calendar icon 31 December 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Bio-Terre Systems has developed a low temperature anaerobic digestion system for processing farm manure and other organic wastes.

The new system operates in the range of 10 to 25 degrees Celsius, 20 to 40 degrees lower than conventional systems cutting operating costs.

DGH Engineering president Dennis Hodgkinson says the Europeans have built hundreds of conventional anaerobic digesters on farms but that development has been fueled by preferential treatment including green energy rates for power generated through anaerobic digestion.

Dennis Hodgkinson-DGH Engineering

In Canada right now the circumstances with regard to business incentives, tax incentives and preferential green energy rates, they don't exist in our every day business.

Right now although the technology is available, we believe it's doable and reliable, we need a combination of business incentives to make it attractive to farmers.

It's a little bit analogous to somebody building a house.

We can all live very comfortably in a 300 thousand dollar home but some people choose to go and spend a million dollars to build a house and we have people that are choosing to make personal investments to advance science and technology.

In Canada that's pretty much where we are.

Somebody has to have almost a philanthropic interest to pursue this.

Notwithstanding, as a business, we're comfortable that the economic circumstances will develop.

This is a good technology, it can make real environmental improvements and it has to the sectors of our society that are interested in impacting greenhouse gasses and extending the life of our planet we know we have some technology that's beneficial but we're waiting for the economic circumstances to be right and we are continuing to fund and support the R and D of this technology.

Mr Hodgkinson says environmental regulators in Canada have been slow to embrace anaerobic digestion and he believes that is slowing the advancement of the technology.

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