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Noblehurst Farms - Maternity Barn

Location York, New York
Project Type Farm Scale
Animal Type Dairy
Population Feeding Digester 1,850
Baseline System Storage Lagoon
Digester Type Covered Lagoon
System Designer Developed by Environmental Credit Corp.
Biogas Generation 53,000 ft3/day
Biogas Use Flared Full Time

Photo of a belt press used to remove solids from digester effluent

Photo: Farm Pilot Project Coordination, Inc.

Noblehurst Farms is sited on two watersheds that provide the primary source of drinking water to area residents. In 2003, the farm installed a plug flow digester system to reduce the amount of pollution and odor originating from their operation.

The system at Noblehurst comprises two plug flow, below-grade digesters with fixed concrete covers. The two digesters share a common concrete wall. Approximately 28,000 gallons of manure are scraped each day into a central channel where it flows to a collection pit. Manure in the collection pit is mixed with digester effluent and then pumped twice a day into the two parallel digesters. The hydraulic retention time of the digester system is about 25 days.

Biogas is collected from the digesters and fed into a 130 kW engine-generator set. Electricity produced by the engine is utilized on the farm. Hot water from the engine is used to maintain the digester temperature and for other on-farm hot water needs.

Digester effluent is pumped to a separator. Solids are composted and used as a soil amendment for the cropping system or sold. Liquids flow to a concrete storage pit and are later applied to the cropland.

Noblehurst Farm's digester project includes the following benefits:

  • Odor reduction
  • Savings on farm electricity costs
  • Creation of organic, largely pathogen-fee nutrients for use as fertilizer

Project Update:In April of 2011, a fire broke out at the farm, destroying the digester and generator. The owners hope to rebuild and enlarge the farm's power plant with assistance from state grants. In the meantime, the installation of a lagoon cover and flare has been completed at the farm's Maternity Barn, and up to 53,000 cubic feet of biogas is being flared daily to reduce emissions.

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