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UW-Oshkosh teams up with Agra Energy, using new technology to convert biogas into renewable energy

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 4:04 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - America’s Dairyland has enough cows to live up to the name, but with those cows comes a lot of waste, and UW-Oshkosh wants to put it to use.

“If we can harness the energy left in that waste to help offset greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels to kind of create a renewable energy that’s a good thing for our state to develop that homegrown technology,” said Brian Langolf, UWO’s Biogas Program Director.

Langolf says they teamed up with Agra Energy, a California-based company, last year.

“It’s an exciting collaboration between the University Wisconsin Oshkosh and Agra Energy to really deploy some of the state of the art technology to basically convert dairy waste into a new renewable synthetic fuel to kind of be an offset to other fossil fuels,” said Langolf.

The company installed its Micro GTL or “gas to liquids” technology and connected it to UWO’s manure digester on Allen Farms in Oshkosh.

“A lot of people know maybe what an anaerobic digester is. What this particular technology, the Micro GTL system is, is taking the biogas from our digester and then converting that biogas into liquid synthetic fuel,” sad Langolf.

Langolf says the machine is a first of its kind, and the product it creates could serve as a replacement for diesel fuel.

“It’s a much cleaner form, it’s a renewable form of energy instead of fossil-based fuel,” said Langolf. “It also has less carbon intensity and less greenhouse gas emissions.”

The project will begin next week, with students involved throughout the entire process.

“Long-term it would be great to see the research that we’re doing here at this site be translated to multiple full-sale installations throughout the state of Wisconsin and more broadly across the United States,” said Langolf.

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