Preparing engineering students for a future in anaerobic digestion.

At Villanova University near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Civil and Environmental Engineering course is focusing on anaerobic digester design for manure management. The project chosen to fulfill course objectives was designing a digester for managing manure on a a poultry and dairy farm. Students worked with a 100-acre family owned farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania with 250,000 layers and 40-cow dairy herd. A field trip gave students a chance to meet their 'client,' ask about specific objectives, observe current manure management methods, and determine site specifications for locating the digester. They also learned about regulatory pressures forcing farmers to adopt better practices and obtained manure samples for analysis and anaerobic treatability studies. The capstone course involving anaerobic digester design has been a valuable learning experience for Villanova students for the last two years. An open ended, real life project involving an actual farm, hands-on laboratory analyses, and construction of a pilot scale digester were main factors in the success of the course.

Main Author: Duran, Metin.
Other Authors: Chadderton, Ronald.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2004
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