Anaerobic Digestion Tools and Resources

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Anaerobic Digestion Data Collection Project

EPA promotes diversion of organic materials from landfills.  This practice is gaining momentum, throughout the United States.  As a result, the options for safely recycling these materials must also increase.  Processing organic materials at anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities is one such option.
EPA currently maintains a database of the name and location of AD facilities processing food waste. This database was built using publically available information and the data is incomplete.   Better quality data is needed to support EPA’s efforts to promote diversion of organic wastes from landfills.
EPA is currently in the process of obtaining approval to collect data from operators of AD facilities.  This data will allow EPA to:
  • Document the processing capacity at AD facilities;
  • Track the growth of this capacity; and
  • Verify the end-uses of AD products.

This knowledge will help EPA develop future activities designed to promote anaerobic digestion.  After it is collected, this data will be made publically available on this website.

When this data collection has been approved, interested facilities will have the opportunity to provide data right from this website. 

Learn more about the types of data EPA will be collecting


Co-Digestion Economic Analysis Tool (CoEAT)

Although CoEAT was initially designed for use at Water Resource Recovery Facilities, it is a valuable tool for anyone operating an anaerobic digestion system.  Use of the term Water Resource Recovery Facility (or WRRF) in this context is intentional.  The term is indicative of the movement toward managing facilities previously called “Wastewater Treatment Plants” to produce clean water and reduce the nation’s dependence upon fossil fuel through the production and use of renewable energy.  EPA-developed tools like CoEAT play a role in this transition.

CoEAT is designed for decision-makers with technical experience in anaerobic digestion, including municipal managers, engineers, and operators of anaerobic digestion systems.  CoEAT helps users  evaluate the costs and benefits of accepting and processing wasted food, fats, oils and greases (FOG) or other organic materials.  CoEAT uses data and specific parameters from the facility under evaluation.  The tool generates economic and operational data to help users understand the impacts and costs of digesting more than one type of feedstock at their facility.  The data includes:
  • Fixed and recurring costs
  • Solid waste diversion savings
  • Capital investments
  • Biogas production and associated energy value

Co-digesting with wasted food and FOG will increase biogas production at a single-source digestion facility, such as a WRRF or farm digester.  This is beneficial to the facility because biogas can be used to generate energy which can offset costs.  Biogas has many beneficial uses.  There is also the added bonus of less wasted food/FOG being disposed of in landfills and therefore less methane gas being emitted to the atmosphere (from landfills).

CoEAT Tool July 2010 (XLS)(20 pp, 296 K, 07/14/2010)