Research Anaerobic Digestion of Waste
We are working on several projects that optimize anaerobic digestion of waste to generate biogas (methane). The reactor microbiomes in anaerobic digesters are studied with next-gen sequencing studies, such as 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomics. We are now especially interested in how to improve stability in digesters and what the effects are of co-digestion of animal wastes with industrial wastes. Projects span from having a local impact to a global impact. For example, on a local level we are working on how to operate, design, and trouble shoot anaerobic digesters on New York State dairy farms. On a global level we are collaborating with Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia (Prof. Wiratni) and with the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil (Prof. Sávia Gavazza).
A video with information on how to setup and operate an anaerobic digester for lab-scale studies is playing below and the accompanying paper can be found by clicking the HyperLink: Usack J. G., Spirito C. M. and Angenent L. T. (2012). Continuously-stirred anaerobic digester to convert organic wastes into biogas: system setup and basic operation. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), e3978, DOI: 10.3791/3978. [HyperLink to Video and PDF]