Value-added uses for digester fiber
By-products of anaerobic digestion can be valuable for several different purposes.
The process of anaerobic digestion adds value to low cost feedstocks such as animal and food wastes by utilizing the energy within the feedstock to create biogas. After the energy has been extracted, the digestate exits out of the digester and is land applied or further processed to capture the fiber. Digester fiber can be used to manufacture soil amendments such as compost and a peat moss replacement product. Michigan State University Extension and Eco-Composites LLC have been investigating other uses for digester fiber under a USDA grant. One promising development is a pelletized digester fiber bedding product. Pellets made from digester fiber resemble wood pellets externally, but are much more efficient at absorbing moisture while retaining their structure. Preliminary results indicate that digester fiber pellets in horse stalls last 3-4 times longer than wood pellets or shavings. Other uses for digester fiber include medium density fiberboard and composite materials. Information on additional uses of digester fiber can be found at: