American Biogas Council

Developing New Classification System For Digestate And Digestate-Derived Products
Markets for value-added products from digestate are growing. And so is the need for a new classification system to provide guidance on how these products can and should be used. Join the American Biogas Council and partners for the first U.S. workshop aimed at two main goals:
  1. To ensure that digestate and digestate-derived product is no longer de-facto considered a waste stream
  2. To create a classification system on permissible end uses for digestate and digestate-derived product based on the combination of stability, feedstock origin and the lack of nonpermissible materials.
To work towards these goals, the workshop will focus on:
  • Testing protocols and standards
  • Review of existing European and Canadian standards—are they applicable?
  • Existing technical and regulatory differentiation of digestate based on anaerobic digester inputs such as source separated organics, livestock manure, WWTP sludge or biosolids, and industrial processing residuals
  • Discussion of a new classification system
  • Assessment of research needs to establish standards and classifications
Come be a part of creating a valuable guidance tool for the biogas industry. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and participate as we work through these important barriers — this will not be a lecture-style workshop!
  • October 27, 2014
  • Held at BioCycle East 2014 (Baltimore, MD)
  • Registration: $295 (workshop only) or $195 with two-day conference registration. Includes lunch.
Register Today

Previous Workshops

How to Build a Successful Biogas Project
Strategies from Proven Projects
  • September 17, 2014
  • Asia Pacific Resilience Summits & Expo (Honolulu, Hawai'i)
  • Registration: $125 (includes concession lunch voucher/pre-workshop networking lunch). Registration fee increases after August 15th.
Anaerobic digestion and biogas offer a unique solution to a community's waste and energy needs. By utilizing your valuable organic waste you can create not only renewable electricity at a sustainable price, vehicle fuel and renewable natural gas, but also highly valuable co-products such as soil amendments and nutrients.


Topics include:

  • Feedstock management and
  • Cost implications of technology
  • Avoiding digester errors
  • Biogas Co-products
  • Successful integration strategies
  • And more..


Who should attend:

  • Energy Managers
  • City Planners
  • Waste Managers
  • Project Developers
  • Military Base Managers
  • Farmers
  • Anyone that wants to create renewable and sustainable energy


Dana Kirk, Licensed Professional Engineer, Michigan State University     

Dana has fifteen years of experience as an environmental engineering working on organic waste related issues including nutrient recovery and waste to energy projects.     


Dana is currently the manager of the MSU Anaerobic Digester Research and Education Center (ADREC). The ADREC is collaborative effort between the University and a private foundation to provide a continuum of research, professional development and outreach support for waste-to-energy systems. ADREC research includes bench top, pilot scale and commercial anaerobic digestion systems used to evaluate feedstocks, optimize performance and integrate technologies. In addition to ADREC he is also overseeing the planning, design, construction and operation of a small scale solar-bioreactor in Costa Rica and the South Campus anaerobic digester located at MSU.  


Norma Macdonald, North American Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems

Organic Waste Systems (OWS) is a world leading company in the construction and operation of anaerobic digestion plants, in the biodegradability and compostability testing of different types of materials, and in waste management consultancy. OWS has developed innovative and patented designs for biogas plants, with a digester concept adapted to each type of feedstock.


DVO has installed almost 100 digesters at over 70 sites in 16 states within the USA (more in other countries). About 10 additional are under construction.

Industrial and agricultural DVO digesters collectively produce over 70MW of renewable power.




Four Steps to a Successful Project – Financing, Technology, Policy and Partnerships
Structure the right package to get your project financed - learn from the experts that are getting biogas projects done!

  • July 8, 2014
  • 12:50 - 4:45 pm CT
  • Chicago, IL - Offices of Baker & McKenzie, LLP
This is a classroom style workshop with ample time for Q&A. Don't miss this opportunity to pick the brains of leaders in the biogas industry.


12:00-12:50 Registration
12:50-1:00 Opening Remarks by Workshop Chair

Josh Lieberman, Program Director, American Biogas Council
1:00-1:45 Norma MacDonald Understanding the Policy Framework
Norma MacDonald North America Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems, Inc.
  • Federal policies and initiatives guiding the industry
  • Typical state-level support mechanisms and grant programs
  • Permitting procedures - what air and water quality measures must be adhered to?
  • Understanding state-by-state variation in policy support mechanisms and regulatory constraints
  • Pinpointing states that provide favorable biogas development opportunities
1:45-2:00 Networking Break
2:00-2:45 Mike LandFinance and Investment
Mike Land, Director, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
  • Typical investment arrangements in US biogas
  • Why Capex is a particularly important factor for EU companies in the US
  • Should international companies be looking to source their finance in the US or elsewhere?
  • How to minimize financial risk of setting up operations in the US
2:45-3:00 Networking Break
3:00-3:45 Joel LaubensteinMaking the Right Business Partnerships
Joel Laubenstein, Senior Manager, Energy and Utilities, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
  • What are US developers looking for from technology providers?
  • What technology types are prominent in the US and where are the gaps that EU companies can have a competitive advantage?
  • The reality of off take purchase agreements- how to approach your gas and electric utilities
  • Finding an end market with industrial clients
3:45-4:00 Networking Break
4:00-4:45 Bernie SheffCost Impacts of Technology
Bernie Sheff, Vice President, Anaergia
  • Preprocessing & contamination control
  • Nutrient management, disposal and fertilizer recovery
  • Gas upgrading for vehicle fuel
  • Squeezing the water back out - generating solid compost
4:45 Workshop Adjourns

Developing Profitable Biogas Projects
Technology, Regulations, Credits and New Markets Sessions Outline

May 27, 2014
Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco, California

At the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Conference


12:50-1:00 Introduction
1:00-1:45 Developing Profitable Biogas Projects: Key Policy Drivers
Graham Noyes, Of Counsel, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman

1:45-2:00 Networking Break
2:00-2:45 Knowing how to ask the Critical Questions: Understanding the Important Factors of Anaerobic Digestion
Vicki Elliott, Microbiology Manager, PlanET Biogas Solutions

This session will provide a background on the biological and design factors vital to a successful biogas project. The audience will leave with a better understanding of the anaerobic biological system including the influence of co-substrates and biological constraints. The discussion will also include the required factors in selecting substrates, determining reasonable biogas expectations, sizing tanks and creating a suitable menu. To help developers avoid common oversights, the presentation will include feedback from operators on changes they would make to operating systems.
2:45 - 3:00 Networking Break
3:00-3:45 AD Project Parameters with Regulatory Implications
Norma McDonald, North American Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems
3:45-4:00 Networking Break
4:00-4:45 AD Product Development and Value
Ron Alexander, R. Alexander Associates, Inc.

This session will cover current market potential for AD co-products, current fiber usage and values and what is being done to recover nutrients from high solids digestate. Ron will also touch on the regulatory barriers that hinder bringing products to market.

Graham Noyes Graham Noyes, Of Counsel, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman

Graham focuses his practice on the bioenergy industry including conventional and advanced biofuels; waste to energy and fuel projects; and biogas projects involving anaerobic digestion, thermo chemical gasification, and other advanced technologies. Graham also works in other energy sectors on a wide range of projects involving greenhouse gas reduction, carbon off-sets, methane capture, nutrient recovery, water efficiency, zero waste, and other innovative components. Graham’s practice includes regulatory compliance, enforcement defense, complex transactions, and project development work. Graham has represented and negotiated with the full range of US and international companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100’s particularly in the agricultural, forestry, petroleum, and computer industries.
Vicki Elliott Vicki Elliott, Microbiology Manager, PlanET Biogas USA

Vicki Elliott has worked in the Anaerobic Digester industry for six years with four years as the microbiology manager for PlanET in the USA and Canada and two years studying the digestion of broiler chicken manure. Vicki has theoretical and practical knowledge of designing, commissioning and supporting anaerobic digesters ranging from 75 to 2,800 kW throughout Canada. Vicki obtained her undergrad in Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo and Masters in Environmental Engineering at the University of Guelph. She is a Professional Engineer in Ontario and an Engineering in Training in California.

Norma McDonald Norma McDonald, North American Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems 

Norma McDonald has over twenty five years of international experience in a variety of positions relating to fermentation and biochemicals. Her responsibilities have included: Establishing and managing a company focused on anaerobic digestion of organic residuals; purchasing enzymes and specialty chemicals; managing research, development and commercialization of new chemicals and bioplastics; sales and marketing of laboratory services for compostability and biodegradability testing; sales and marketing of anaerobic digestion systems for organic waste.

Ron Alexander Ron Alexander, R. Alexander Associates, Inc.

Building a Successful Biogas Project
A pre-Conference workshop at the U.S. Composting Council's 22nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow

  • Jan. 26, 2014 1:00-4:30 p.m.
  • Oakland Marriott City Center - Oakland, CA
More >>

How To Avoid Digester Failures, Operating Errors
— And Find Financial Success

A pre-conference workshop at BioCycle's REFOR13
Oct. 20, 2013 | 12:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Hyatt Regency Columbus, OH

Attendees learned about the challenges digester facilities have faced on the road to stable--and successful--anaerobic digestion operations. Presenters shared common operational pitfalls, and even a few horror stories, in a candid, energetic discussion based on actual experiences with biogas systems.

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