13 PDH
In-Person Digester Operator School

May 24-26, 2022
Las Vegas, NV at BIOGAS AMERICAS

Each ABC Operator School event we offer is unique and distinct from the next. What makes this one special is we’ve dedicated an entire track for Operator School within the biggest biogas conference and tradeshow in the US: BIOGAS AMERICAS. For more information on the overall event, please visit the BIOGAS AMERICAS website. To attend, you simply need to register for the event like a regular conference attendee. Please pay attention to the add-ons like the Biogas Industry Awards Dinner and add those on if you’d like to enhance your experience, and have an excellent meal!

In addition to the conference, you’ll also have access to the country’s biggest tradeshow of biogas equipment and service providers. Our exhibitors love talking to operators, so please spend some time there and explore what’s on offer. As a part of the Operator School, we’ll also have dedicated time to visit the tradeshow and stop at a few booths who are expecting your visit.

Finally, if you’re interested in Operator Certification, this course will help you meet 6 of 9 required modules, assuming to attend the entire school. To complete the remaining modules, the other in-person Operator School will do that, or you can attend the virtual Operator School.

Pricing

Full Program
13 PDHs

Included with registration: Breakfast and lunch, access to the entire BIOGAS AMERICAS conference and tradeshow, PDH certificate by request.

Members: $550*
Non-Members: $750

* American Biogas Members will apply discount and checkout

Site Tours

Site tours help you solidify your classroom learning both by talking about application and learning about real operational challenges from the digester operators on each site. Plus, many operators don’t get to see a lot of digesters, and with every system different from the next, a lot can be learned by comparing other digesters to the ones you’re operating.

Exhibitor Hall

In-Person

Since this Operator School is at BIOGAS AMERICAS, the largest conference and tradeshow in the US, the tour is a visit of the tradeshow floor filled with equipment and service providers. Several exhibitors are especially interested in connecting with operators, so we have a specific set of booths to visit during the designated times. Of course, you’re welcome and encouraged to spend more time on the tradeshow floor on your own in addition to the organized tours.

View Exhibitors

Modules

Module 1 - Fundamentals of Anaerobic Digestion

This is the foundation for everything operators and anyone in the biogas industry needs to know. As such, almost every course will include and start with this module. We’ll cover the 4 steps of AD including the actual chemistry and biology so you know what to test for; vocabulary and concepts like BOD and VFA/Alk ratios; how to monitor AD performance; and how the primary characteristics of different digesters require a different approach to their operations.

Module 2 - Applying the Fundamentals to Operations

In this module, you’ll learn how to both optimize the performance of a digester and perhaps more importantly, how to avoid digester failures

Module 3 - Math for Digesters

This module consistently ranks as the most valuable by our past students. For those of you who haven’t had math in a while, we’ll start slowly talking about how to keep track of units when doing your calculations, imperial/metric conversions, how to monitor overloads, converting biogas into energy values, and business considerations like determining the value of heat and electricity compared to renewable natural gas. Finally, we’ll walk you through how to determine whether you should accept a truckload of material that shows up at your door.  Will the material make money or will it cost you more to deal with the water because there’s so little biogas potential in its contents?

Module 4 - Mechanical Systems

Although emphasis is often and rightly placed on the biological aspects of digester operation, it is important to remember that an AD system is primarily a MECHANICAL SYSTEM. Understanding how to make sure the mechanical systems are operating optimally is critical.  We’ll cover receiving material, conveyance, storage and pre-treatment; then mixing, heating and gas handling; finally, we’ll take you through digestate separation, and handling the separated liquids and solids.

Module 5 - Hydraulics (pumps, mixers, etc.)

Some of our expert operators think we should spend a day and half on hydraulics because as operators, you’re handling hydraulic issues every day. But we’ve condensed the essentials of pumps, mixers, monitoring systems and more into a fraction of that time to raise your knowledge quickly and effectively.

Module 9 - Gas Utilization

For producing renewable natural gas or electricity, operating gas cleanup equipment is essential.  This module covers H2S removal, biogas upgrading to RNG/pipeline quality, engines, and managing both gas and electrical interconnections with the local utility.

Module 13 - Career Development

In the biogas industry, the operators that have a reputation for high performing digesters are always in demand. We’ll cover the qualities that digester owners look for from their best compensated operators.

Instructors

Bernard Sheff

Montrose Enviornmental Group & ABC Board Chairman

Brian Langolf

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh & ABC Director

Craig Frear

Regenis & ABC Director

Jessica LeRoy

Mendota Agri-Products

Chris Noah American Biogas Council Operator School Training Instructor
Chris Noah

Sulzer Chemtech USA, Inc

Craig Ruberti

Montrose Environmental Group

Operator Certification

The American Biogas Council’s Operator Certification is the only digester certification offered in the US. Certified operators have higher performing biogas systems and more often avoid costly and sometimes smelly mistakes. For certification, operators must do three things: complete all 9 required modules in ABC Operator School, have 2,000 hours of operations experience, and pass ABC’s operator exam.

Upcoming courses

13 PDH Course

May 24-26, 2022

Location: in-Person, Las Vegas, NV @ BIOGAS AMERICAS

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Module 5

Module 9

Module 13

Exhibit hall Tour

Members: $550
Non-Members: $750

26 PDH Course

August 9-11, 2022

Location: in-Person, Oshkosh, WI @
UW-Oshkosh

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 6

Module 7

Module 8

Module 14

Site Tour 1
(In person)

Site Tour 2
(In person)

Laboratory Tour

Members: $1,900
Non-Members: $2,300

33 PDH Course

February 2-28, 2023

Location: Virtual
1-4 ET Tuesdays/Thursdays
Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Module 5

Module 6

Module 7

Module 8

Module 9

Module 10

Module 11

Module 12

Module 13

Module 14

Members: $1,900
Non-Members: $2,300