American Biogas Council

Past Workshops

Odor Management At Anaerobic Digestion Facilities
Originally held at BioCycle East Coast 17. Now available on demand.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 | 8:30 AM — 4:30 PM

Click here to purchase videos & presentation slides>>
Fee: $295 ($195 for members)

"Definitely worth the price to attend. I actually want to have this available every year, so having it on-demand is perfect." -workshop attendee

"I thought the workshop was great! At the conference, they covered a wide variety of topics, but I got the most out of a long day looking at just one topic that is crucial to the success of the company- odor. The workshop was well put together with a good balance of expert knowledge and interesting stories from people who have experienced problems with odor." -workshop attendee

Organized by BioCycle and American Biogas Council
Learn odor management for digesters. This workshop is a first of its kind for the AD biogas industry and has been customized to give exceptional value to biogas project developers and operators. Topics covered include: Odor sources at anaerobic digestion (AD) plants; Odor control technologies; Management strategies to minimize odors; Case studies at farm and centralized AD facilities; How to develop proactive odor management outreach programs.

Click here to purchase videos >>

7:28 Workshop Overview
Craig Coker, BioCycle and Bernard Sheff, American Biogas Council


Odor Science 101 (+Q&A after the presentation)
Craig Coker, BioCycle

47:38 Odors, Perception and the Human Olfaction Factor (+Q&A after the presentation)
Pamela Dalton, Monell Chemical Senses Center
3:46 Introduction of Workshop Attendees

Sources of Odors at AD Facilities (+Q&A after the presentation)
Paul Greene, CDM Smith

31:58 Regulatory and Legal Perspectives (+Q&A after the presentation)
Michael Lannan, Tech Enviornmental, Inc.

Management Strategies to Minimize Odors (+Q&A after the presentation)
Michael Lannan, Tech Environmental, Inc.

35:14 Odor Control Vendor Lightning Round #1

Odor Control Technologies (+Q&A after the presentation)
Bernard Sheff, ES Engineering Services


Facility Case Studies (+Q&A after each case study)

  • Facility Study and Odor Mitigation Study Nate Carr, quasar energy group
  • Facility Case Study, Heartland Biogas Facility (CO) Bob Yost, A1 Organics
  • Facility Case Study, Napolean Biogas (OH) Lauren Toretta, CH4 Biogas
  • 47:46 Odor Communications

    Digestate Done Right: Finalizing The ABC Digestate Standard And Focusing On The Future
    A pre-conference workshop
    Monday, April 4th, 2016 | 9:00am - 4:00pm PT

    San Diego, CA (Town & Country Resort)

    Join us as we bust barriers to digestate value! This workshop will finalize the Digestate Standard so that regulators and the marketplace understand the full benefit of converting organic waste using anaerobic digestion.

    We will then pivot forward to focus on real examples of digestate uses, markets and processing technology. See first-release videos of commercial projects from around the country, with operators telling the story. Listen to the latest in research on value-added products derived from digestate. Learn about the recent equipment introductions for creating marketable products from your digestate.

    email info@americanbiogascouncil.org or Click Here if you want:

  • to learn more about getting your laboratory on ABC's approved lab list
  • to share a video of your operational digestate project
  • attendees to know about your digestate research
  • exposure for your digestate processing equipment
  • Workshop Agenda

    9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

    Welcome and Introductions

    9:20 AM - 9:30 AM

    Agenda Overview

    9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

    Recap of ABC Digestate Standard Development Process, 2014-2015

    9:45 AM- 11:45 AM

    Review of ABC Digestate Standard Final Draft

    11:45AM - 12:00 PM


    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

    Lunch Videos/Presentations Highlighting Novel Digestate Uses, Post Processing 

  • N-E-W Tech Nutrient and Pathogen Removal, University of Idaho College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
  • SyreN Crystal Project, Biocover, SyreN+, Markforsuring
  • Marvel Automated Composting System, Global Earth Products
  • ManurUSe, Colsen International [Handout]

    1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

    Implementation Of Digestate Standard — How, Who, When

    2:15 PM - 2:30 PM


    2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

    Digestate Post Processing And Value Added Product Forum

  • Case Studies, Research Needs And Reports
  • Developing Directory Of Digestate Processing Options And Equipment Vendors
  • Recent Equipment Introductions To Create Marketable Products From Your Facility's Digestate
  • Speakers:

  • "Digested Organics- Nutrient Concentration Water Reclamation System" Christopher Maloney, Digested Organics LLC
  • “SORDISEP technology: the end products,” Norma McDonald, Organic Waste Systems
  • "Digestive Value Increase Through Drying and Pelleting" Drs. Henno Haaring, Dorset Green Machines bv Video
  • "Advanced Nutriend Recovery for Ag and Municipal Waste," Chris Bush, Trident Processes, LLC
  • "Sludge Pasteurization System" and "Digestate Concentrate" by Carlos Cobain, HRS Heat Exchangers
  • Workshop Facilitators

      Norma McDonald, North American Sales Manager, OWS, Inc.
    Norma McDonald Norma McDonald has over twenty five years of international experience in a variety of positions relating to fermentation and biochemicals. Her responsibilities have included: Establishing and managing a company focused on anaerobic digestion of organic residuals; purchasing enzymes and specialty chemicals; managing research, development and commercialization of new chemicals and bioplastics; sales and marketing of laboratory services for compostability and biodegradability testing; sales and marketing of anaerobic digestion systems for organic waste. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Anaerobic Digestion Co-Products Working Group.
      Clarke Pauley, VP Organics & Biogas Division, CR&R Environmental Services
    Norma McDonald Clarke has more than 20 years of combined renewable energy, marketing, development, and environmental science experience. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Anaerobic Digestion Co-Products Working Group. His specialties include: Anaerobic Digestion, Renewable Natural Gas (Biogas), compost, gasification, biochar, Project packages & documentation, project presentations, and power purchase agreements.
      Amy McCrae Kessler, EVP, Head of Environmental & Regulatory Affairs, Founder of Turning Earth LLC
    Norma McDonald

    Amy McCrae Kessler is EVP, Head of Environmental & Regulatory Affairs and a Founding Member of Turning Earth, LLC. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of the American Biogas Council where she currently serves as Co-Chair of the Council’s Federal Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Anaerobic Digestion Co-Products Working Group.

    Prior to launching Turning Earth, Ms. Kessler practiced environmental, international environmental and administrative law at Arnold & Porter, LLP in New York and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. Ms. Kessler has advised clients on a broad range of environmental issues in the context of litigation, regulatory compliance, permitting and corporate, banking and real estate transactions. In addition, she has counseled sovereign states on a variety of environmental issues.

    Developing New Classification System For Digestate And Digestate-Derived Products
    Held at BioCycle East 2014 (Baltimore, MD) on October 27, 2014

    Markets for value-added products from digestate are growing. And so is the need for a new classification system to provide guidance on how these products can and should be used. Join the American Biogas Council and partners for the first U.S. workshop aimed at two main goals:

    1. To ensure that digestate and digestate-derived product is no longer de-facto considered a waste stream
    2. To create a classification system on permissible end uses for digestate and digestate-derived product based on the combination of stability, feedstock origin and the lack of nonpermissible materials.
    To work towards these goals, the workshop will focus on:
    • Testing protocols and standards
    • Review of existing European and Canadian standards—are they applicable?
    • Existing technical and regulatory differentiation of digestate based on anaerobic digester inputs such as source separated organics, livestock manure, WWTP sludge or biosolids, and industrial processing residuals
    • Discussion of a new classification system
    • Assessment of research needs to establish standards and classifications

    How to Build a Successful Biogas Project: trategies from Proven Projects
    Held at Asia Pacific Resilience Summits & Expo (Honolulu, Hawai'i) on September 17, 2014

    Anaerobic digestion and biogas offer a unique solution to a community's waste and energy needs. By utilizing your valuable organic waste you can create not only renewable electricity at a sustainable price, vehicle fuel and renewable natural gas, but also highly valuable co-products such as soil amendments and nutrients.

    Topics include:

  • Feedstock management and implications
  • Cost implications of technology
  • Avoiding digester errors
  • Biogas Co-products
  • Successful integration strategies
  • And more..
  • Speakers

    Dana Kirk,, Licensed Professional Engineer, Michigan State University.

    Dana has fifteen years of experience as an environmental engineering working on organic waste related issues including nutrient recovery and waste to energy projects.Dana is currently the manager of the MSU Anaerobic Digester Research and Education Center (ADREC). The ADREC is collaborative effort between the University and a private foundation to provide a continuum of research, professional development and outreach support for waste-to-energy systems. ADREC research includes bench top, pilot scale and commercial anaerobic digestion systems used to evaluate feedstocks, optimize performance and integrate technologies. In addition to ADREC he is also overseeing the planning, design, construction and operation of a small scale solar-bioreactor in Costa Rica and the South Campus anaerobic digester located at MSU.

    Norma Macdonald, North American Sales Manager.

    Organic Waste Systems (OWS) is a world leading company in the construction and operation of anaerobic digestion plants, in the biodegradability and compostability testing of different types of materials, and in waste management consultancy. OWS has developed innovative and patented designs for biogas plants, with a digester concept adapted to each type of feedstock.


    DVO has installed almost 100 digesters at over 70 sites in 16 states within the USA (more in other countries). About 10 additional are under construction.

    Industrial and agricultural DVO digesters collectively produce over 70MW of renewable power.


    12:00-12:50 Registration
    12:50-1:00 Opening Remarks by Workshop Chair

    Josh Lieberman, Program Director, American Biogas Council
    1:00-1:45 Norma MacDonald Understanding the Policy Framework
    Norma MacDonald North America Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems, Inc.
    • Federal policies and initiatives guiding the industry
    • Typical state-level support mechanisms and grant programs
    • Permitting procedures - what air and water quality measures must be adhered to?
    • Understanding state-by-state variation in policy support mechanisms and regulatory constraints
    • Pinpointing states that provide favorable biogas development opportunities
    1:45-2:00 Networking Break
    2:00-2:45 Mike LandFinance and Investment
    Mike Land, Director, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
    • Typical investment arrangements in US biogas
    • Why Capex is a particularly important factor for EU companies in the US
    • Should international companies be looking to source their finance in the US or elsewhere?
    • How to minimize financial risk of setting up operations in the US
    2:45-3:00 Networking Break
    3:00-3:45 Joel LaubensteinMaking the Right Business Partnerships
    Joel Laubenstein, Senior Manager, Energy and Utilities, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
    • What are US developers looking for from technology providers?
    • What technology types are prominent in the US and where are the gaps that EU companies can have a competitive advantage?
    • The reality of off take purchase agreements- how to approach your gas and electric utilities
    • Finding an end market with industrial clients
    3:45-4:00 Networking Break
    4:00-4:45 Bernie SheffCost Impacts of Technology
    Bernie Sheff, Vice President, Anaergia
    • Preprocessing & contamination control
    • Nutrient management, disposal and fertilizer recovery
    • Gas upgrading for vehicle fuel
    • Squeezing the water back out - generating solid compost
    4:45 Workshop Adjourns

    Developing Profitable Biogas Projects: Technology, Regulations, Credits and New Markets Sessions Outline

    Held at Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Expo (Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Conference in San Francisco, California) on May 27, 2014

    Anaerobic digestion and biogas offer a unique solution to a community's waste and energy needs.


    12:50-1:00 Introduction
    1:00-1:45 Developing Profitable Biogas Projects: Key Policy Drivers
    Graham Noyes, Of Counsel, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman

    1:45-2:00 Networking Break
    2:00-2:45 Knowing how to ask the Critical Questions: Understanding the Important Factors of Anaerobic Digestion
    Vicki Elliott, Microbiology Manager, PlanET Biogas Solutions

    This session will provide a background on the biological and design factors vital to a successful biogas project. The audience will leave with a better understanding of the anaerobic biological system including the influence of co-substrates and biological constraints. The discussion will also include the required factors in selecting substrates, determining reasonable biogas expectations, sizing tanks and creating a suitable menu. To help developers avoid common oversights, the presentation will include feedback from operators on changes they would make to operating systems.
    2:45 - 3:00 Networking Break
    3:00-3:45 AD Project Parameters with Regulatory Implications
    Norma McDonald, North American Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems
    3:45-4:00 Networking Break
    4:00-4:45 AD Product Development and Value
    Ron Alexander, R. Alexander Associates, Inc.

    This session will cover current market potential for AD co-products, current fiber usage and values and what is being done to recover nutrients from high solids digestate. Ron will also touch on the regulatory barriers that hinder bringing products to market.

    Graham Noyes Graham Noyes, Of Counsel, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman

    Graham focuses his practice on the bioenergy industry including conventional and advanced biofuels; waste to energy and fuel projects; and biogas projects involving anaerobic digestion, thermo chemical gasification, and other advanced technologies. Graham also works in other energy sectors on a wide range of projects involving greenhouse gas reduction, carbon off-sets, methane capture, nutrient recovery, water efficiency, zero waste, and other innovative components. Graham’s practice includes regulatory compliance, enforcement defense, complex transactions, and project development work. Graham has represented and negotiated with the full range of US and international companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100’s particularly in the agricultural, forestry, petroleum, and computer industries.
    Vicki Elliott Vicki Elliott, Microbiology Manager, PlanET Biogas USA

    Vicki Elliott has worked in the Anaerobic Digester industry for six years with four years as the microbiology manager for PlanET in the USA and Canada and two years studying the digestion of broiler chicken manure. Vicki has theoretical and practical knowledge of designing, commissioning and supporting anaerobic digesters ranging from 75 to 2,800 kW throughout Canada. Vicki obtained her undergrad in Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo and Masters in Environmental Engineering at the University of Guelph. She is a Professional Engineer in Ontario and an Engineering in Training in California.

    Norma McDonald Norma McDonald, North American Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems 

    Norma McDonald has over twenty five years of international experience in a variety of positions relating to fermentation and biochemicals. Her responsibilities have included: Establishing and managing a company focused on anaerobic digestion of organic residuals; purchasing enzymes and specialty chemicals; managing research, development and commercialization of new chemicals and bioplastics; sales and marketing of laboratory services for compostability and biodegradability testing; sales and marketing of anaerobic digestion systems for organic waste.

    Ron Alexander Ron Alexander, R. Alexander Associates, Inc.

    Building a Successful Biogas Project

    A pre-Conference workshop at the U.S. Composting Council's 22nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow

    • Jan. 26, 2014 1:00-4:30 p.m.
    • Oakland Marriott City Center - Oakland, CA
    More >>

    How To Avoid Digester Failures, Operating Errors
    — And Find Financial Success

    A pre-conference workshop at BioCycle's REFOR13
    Oct. 20, 2013 | 12:30 - 5:30 p.m.

    Hyatt Regency Columbus, OH

    Attendees learned about the challenges digester facilities have faced on the road to stable--and successful--anaerobic digestion operations. Presenters shared common operational pitfalls, and even a few horror stories, in a candid, energetic discussion based on actual experiences with biogas systems.

    Agenda [expand]

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