Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Summer 2009


ABSTRACT: This thesis report illustrates the applications and potentials of biogenic methane recovery in Nebraska’s agricultural and industrial sectors and as a means for increasing sustainable economic development in the state’s rural communities. As the nation moves toward a new green economy, biogenic methane recovery as a waste management strategy and renewable energy resource presents significant opportunities for Nebraska to be a national and world leader in agricultural and industrial innovation, advanced research and development of renewable energy technology, and generation of new product markets. Nebraska’s agricultural economy provides a distinct advantage to the state for supporting methane recovery operations that provide long-term economic and environmental partnerships among producers, industry, and communities. These opportunities will serve to protect Nebraska’s agricultural producers from volatile energy input markets and as well as creating new markets for Nebraska agricultural products. They will also serve to provide quality education and employment opportunities for Nebraska students and businesses. There are challenges and issues that remain for the state in order to take advantage of its resource potential. There is a need to produce a comprehensive Nebraska biogenic methane potential study and digital mapping system

to identify high-potential producers, co-products, and markets. There is also a need to develop a web-based format of consolidated information specific to Nebraska to aid in connecting producers, service providers, educators, and policy-makers.