Anaerobic digester systems sprout

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Work have been under way at the Roorda Dairy anaerobic digester site 5 miles west of Paullina in O’Brien County, with the tank crew assembling the 55 foot tall, 110 foot diameter digester reactor tank.\

Anaerobic digester systems are the coming thing in livestock operations, capturing the methane gas from manure storage sites and selling it to natural gas companies, transported through small pipelines. Normally, the livestock producer furnished the herd, land, and necessary easements and private companies build the systems for the revenue from the gas companies and reducing methane odors on the farms.

There are several digester systems in NW Iowa under way, including Sioux, O’Brien, Lyon, and Osceola counties, among others. Industry experts indicate dairy, beef, and pork producers may begin taking advantage of the digester system benefits.

The tank erection crew numbers about 15 workers that are bolting the steel side wall panels together. These long steel panels that are on the top ring are thinner than those at the bottom of the structure. They’re about a 1/4 inch thick and each curved panel is about 5 feet wide by 10 feet long.

A series of heavy duty hydraulic jacks are spaced out around the entire 345 foot circumference of the tank and as the crew finishes assembling each tank ring, the jacks lift the entire weight of the structure five feet and then the crew brings in the next ring of the sidewall to be bolted in place.

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