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Michigan State University works to revolutionize how electricity is produced and used with new machine

MSU working to create a first of its kind mobile anaerobic biodigester
mobile anaerobic biodigester
Posted at 9:19 AM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 09:24:20-05

LANSING, Mich. — A team of researchers at Michigan State University is working on a machine that could revolutionize how electricity is produced and used.

The group just got a grant to make a mobile anaerobic biodigester.

The team is lead by engineering professor Wei Liao who says the machine will take organic materials like manure, food waste and crop residue, turn them into biogas which will then be converted into electricity and heat.

Liao says the project seeks to be in step with the production of electric cars.

“We’re targeting the electric vehicle market because of all the electric vehicle all the big auto companies are moving to that direction. We’re expecting the EV market to be booming. With this new project, our intention is to link agriculture with the auto industry,” said Liao.

Liao says there is a prototype but making the mobile unit will take another four to five months.

“We do have a prototype in my facility and we want to modify that. We’re going to upgrade that to the next level for this project. We’re going to demonstrate that at MSU’s campus and some other sites in Ingham county,’ said Professor Liao.

Its something County Commissioner, Chris Trubac is excited about.

“We have farm animals and things like that and we’re generating quite a bit of organic waste that if there’s an opportunity there to improve our overall sustainability, it’s a win-win for everybody. As Dr. Lao has been saying this is something that will have huge implications for small and medium farms all across the state maybe even the country because this is a new technology that they’re developing,” said Trubac.

Liao says when the machine is finished there will be demonstrations of its use at Potter Park Zoo, the Ingham County fairgrounds and a couple other sites in the county.

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