Anaerobic digesters at livestock operations not only provide manure management capabilities but also can be used as an energy source, according to a Purdue Extension renewable energy specialist.

Members of the Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group will host a free meeting Nov. 1 for anyone interested in anaerobic digestion.

"Anaerobic digestion has been utilized primarily as a waste management technology for large confined animal feeding operations," said Chad Martin. "One of the side benefits happens to be the creation of renewable energy in the form of biogas that can be utilized for electricity generation. Now we're also looking into compressed natural gas opportunities where that gas can be pipelined."

Meeting attendees will gather at 9 a.m. at the Beck Agricultural Center, 4540 U.S. 52 West, in West Lafayette for presentations, including:

* "Update on Indiana Biomass Rule," John Hale, Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

* "Anaerobic Digestion Research Opportunities," Jiqin Ni, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University.

* "Biogas Technology Development and CNG Opportunities," Travis Dauwalter, biogas business development leader at GE Energy, North America.

Afternoon sessions include a brief tour of the Peterson Prairie Plot Perennial Bioenergy Crop Species Display at Purdue's Agronomy Center for Research and Education followed by a tour of the anaerobic digester at Brian Furrer Farms in Reynolds. Transportation to and from Reynolds will be provided, and participants will return to West Lafayette at 4 p.m.

Lunch will be provided by the Indiana Soybean Alliance. Attendees should RSVP to Martin at 765-496-3964 or by Friday (Oct. 28).

Other sponsors include the Indiana Office of Energy Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development.

The Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group is a collaboration of industry, state and federal government, trade organizations, universities and citizens who promote the growth of renewable energy in Indiana. The group looks for renewable energy opportunities and addresses bioenergy research challenges.

More information on the group is available at