Biogas for Australian Dairy Farms

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Text books about biogas technology can give the impression that the technology is a silver bullet for a whole range of dairy farming issues. This impression is further reinforced by the glossy brochures handed out by biogas technology suppliers. The potential advantages of biogas technology are indeed numerous, and include: simplifying on-farm waste management (Burke 2001), improving the fertilizer value of manure and other by-products (FNR 2010), reducing farm odour and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions (Schultz et al. 1993, Dalton et al. 1998, Dairy Australia 2008, Heubeck et al. 2014, Laubach et al. 2015), and providing a renewable energy source for on-farm use and even export (Burke 2001, FNR 2010). However in reality, biogas technology is site specific and has to be selected and tailored carefully to meet the particular needs of each farm. This doesn’t mean that biogas technology has to be complex or cumbersome to manage, but the configuration that is right for each farm needs to be evaluated carefully

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