• WisBusiness

Monday, April 27, 2015

MaryBeth Matzek: Oshkosh biodigesters put students to work


By MaryBeth Matzek
During one of his classes at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Kinan Pasley heard about the three biodigesters that the college offered. A biology major, Pasley decided he wanted to see them for himself so he called about a tour.

He was blown away by what he saw and when he heard about the opportunity for UW-Oshkosh students to work at one of them. Biodigesters use bacteria to break down organic matter – whether it's cow manure or leftover food or plant products – and then captures the methane released by the bacteria as it digests the organic matter. The methane is then trapped and can be burned for heating or electricity. The leftover organic solid waste can be then sold as fertilizer or further composted.

During the past few years, the university opened three biodigesters: an urban anaerobic dry biogas system digester on campus; a small farm biogas system at a farm outside of Oshkosh; and a biogas system at Rosendale Dairy in Fond du Lac County. Each of the biodigesters is unique in its own way. For example, the Rosendale site is located at the state's largest dairy and also has an onsite learning facility while the on-campus dry biogas system was the first of its kind to be built in North America.

"I was working before in the student union, and while that was OK, I thought this was a much better fit for my major and it's providing me with hands-on skills I can use after graduation," says Pasley, who will graduate next month and plans to work at the on-campus biodigester through the summer.

Students working at the biodigester do a variety of duties, but most involve collecting data – both of what's going in and out of the biodigester.

"Getting involved with something like this will set me apart as I look for a job," Pasley says.

Besides collecting data, students also do some maintenance work at the on-campus biodigester and the two housed at the nearby farms. Nathan Ochocinski, a biology major just finishing up his first year of college, says working at the on-campus biodigester was unlike anything he had ever done before.

"It's definitely a lot different than anything I've ever done before," he says, adding that he can't believe how much food waste comes into the biodigester. "That has definitely raised my awareness about how much food gets wasted. It's definitely eye-opening."

That's the idea, adds Greg Kleinheinz, the UW-Oshkosh Viessmann Chair of Sustainable Technology/professor of environmental engineering tech. The university is making a name for itself with its biodigesters and is looking to spread the word about them.

"Biodigesters can work for farms of all sizes," he says. "Once the biodigester is up and running, they pretty much work on their own."

Main Street prize

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation selected the Miner Theater in Ladysmith as the winner for its Main Street Makeover Contest. The single-screen theater, which has been open since 1948, will receive $10,000 to help the owner make upgrades to the theater.

Owner Brian Herrick plans to restore the historic façade and lobby space and also add a second screen so the theater can show more than one movie.

"This award couldn't come at a more perfect time -- we're so excited to move forward with plans for the theater," he says. "We just saw the building and the community and fell in love -- there is so much potential here and we're happy to have a role in helping the community realize it."

The WEDC contest was designed to increase awareness of the Wisconsin Main Street Program and showcase the businesses that call these downtown areas home.

-- Matzek, a freelance writer and editor, is the owner of 1Bizzy Writer. She has worked in the past as a news editor at Insight Publications and as business editor at the Appleton Post-Crescent.

Labels:


Comments: 6

At June 25, 2015 at 1:01 AM, OpenID Gene R. said...

I don't generally commentary on blogs but as I see this blog I completely motivated to make one praise that I understand that not enough for the significant context on your writing as one that could understand easily. cheap essay writing service

 
At January 27, 2016 at 10:04 AM, Blogger Fanny Chua said...

I like to write a little comment to support you. poker online

 
At July 26, 2016 at 6:40 AM, Blogger Kristofer Kihn said...

R Programming Homework Help
Another incredible post, I value all the work you put into this site, assisting others with your fun and inventive works.

 
At July 26, 2016 at 7:22 AM, Blogger Albert Thomas said...

Well thanks for posting such an outstanding idea. I like this blog & I like the topic and thinking of making it right.
Mathematics writing service

 
At July 26, 2016 at 7:35 AM, Blogger David Richard said...

Scholarship Essay Writing Service
I’m really impressed with your article, such great & usefull knowledge you mentioned here

 
At July 26, 2016 at 7:49 AM, Blogger Wilson Larrie said...

G*Power Online Assignment Help
Thank you a lot for taking the time for you personally to share such a nice info. I in fact choose to reading your post.

 

Post a Comment

Back to BizOpinion main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

BizOpinion site feed
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

wisbusiness.com Social News

Follow Us

Site Sponsors

ARCHIVE

· January 2009
· February 2009
· March 2009
· April 2009
· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· August 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· October 2016
· December 2016
Copyright ©2013 WisBusiness.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisPolitics.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications