Optimising anaerobic digestion of manure resources at a regional level
This paper presents an optimisation model, which was developed to give decision support on methods of managing livestock manure resources within a region. The overall objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock manure and at the same time obtain economic profitability for the farmer. The model was tested by performing a case study on 50 farms in one region in Norway. Based on input data on the number of cattle and pigs on each farm, and the transport distance between each farm and the nearest centralised biogas plant, the model calculates the economic profit of the farmer and the greenhouse gas emissions for three manure management alternatives: (1) no biogas production; (2) farm scale biogas production; and (3) centralised biogas production. The model could minimise the greenhouse gas emissions, maximise the profit for the farmers or a combination of the two. Results from the case study showed that both options for anaerobic digestion (farm scale and centralised biogas production) are beneficial in terms of the reduction of greenhouse gases and can be profitable for the farmers.