U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report (1982) No. 1: 42-43


Dwindling supplies of conventional fossil fuels have prompted renewed interest in recovering energy through the bioconversion of waste organic materials. The large quantities of manure produced in confinement feedlots and the need to manage this manure effectively make feedlots a logical choice for assessing the feasibility of recovering methane and protein through anaerobic fermentation.

Research at U.S. Meat Animal Research Center is designed to determine the technical and economic feasibility of recovering methane and protein from beef cattle manure.

Specific Objectives are to:

1. Develop design criteria for optimum production of methane and protein through anaerobic fermentation of beef cattle manure,

2. Develop efficient methods to recover high protein biomass from the fermented residue,

3. Evaluate the nutritional value of the biomass as a livestock feed,

4. Determine the capital and operational costs and energy, man-power, and safety requirements for methane fermentation systems associated with livestock operations.

This project was initiated in 1976 and is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and the U.S. Department of Energy through the Solar Energy Research Institute.