Clarkson Biomass Group (CBG)
An interdisciplinary group of Clarkson faculty and graduate students comprising the Clarkson Biomass Group (CBG) was formed to investigate and promote the conversion of dairy manure and other wastes into biogas in the North Country of New York State. Biogas is typically about 60 % Methane and 40 % Carbon Dioxide. The gas can be burned to provide heat energy or to generate electrical energy, such as by a biogas-fueled engine-generator.
The North Country is a region lying between the Adirondack Mountains and the St. Lawrence River. Dairy farming is a prominent component of the economy of the North Country, despite the cold, lengthy winter season.The overall goal of this research is to provide the data and understanding necessary to overcome questions of reliability and to prove the economic and environmental value of digester-energy recovery systems in a manner to increase their implementation. The physical system includes the digester, energy recovery for combined heat and power, emissions to the environment, and value added products. The farmers, markets, and regulatory structure comprise the social system considered in this research.
The research is generating quantifiable evidence of the technical, environmental, economic and social efficacy of this integrated system. Through data acquisition and mathematical optimization, the system can be understood well enough to ensure that the best aspects of the system can be replicated elsewhere to maximize the economic benefit to the farmer while minimizing deleterious environmental impacts.