EPA Region 7, Iowa State University, and the University of Iowa announce Anaerobic Digestion on the Farm Conference 

LENEXA, KAN. – Today, the U.S. EPA Region 7, Iowa State University, and the University of Iowa announce an upcoming conference titled Anaerobic Digestion on the Farm – Optimizing Environmental and Economic Outcomes for Rural Communities and Beyond. EPA and the universities will host the conference Nov. 6-8, 2023, at the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center in Ames, Iowa. Anaerobic digestion is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials.


“Anaerobic digestion offers many environmental and economic benefits,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “This conference will bring together government, academic, and private sector experts, stakeholders, and interested parties to advance understanding of anaerobic digestion and policy implementation.”


“Anaerobic digestion, an old technology now made new, can create energy value on farms while offering a variety of manure, biomass crop, crop residue and waste management options,” said Dan Robinson, Iowa State University Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “It’s a great platform for further R&D and potential near-term adoption. Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is enthusiastic to be working with EPA Region 7 and the University of Iowa to develop this potential.”


“Innovation in anaerobic digestion is a focus area of the Iowa Wastewater and Waste to Energy Research Program (IWWERP) at the University of Iowa,” said Martin Scholtz, University of Iowa Vice President for Research. “Diversion of waste organics into digesters will mitigate methane emissions and the digital twin approaches developed by Professor Just’s team will increase efficiency and profitability.” 


EPA, Iowa State University, and the University of Iowa also invite interested experts to submit conference presentation proposals via a call for abstracts. Information on submitting an abstract is available on the conference website linked above.


In addition to presentations, exhibits, panel sessions, and virtual tours of anaerobic digestion facilities, the conference will feature several keynote speakers, including Rudi Roeslein and Marcelo Mena-Carrasco. Additional keynote speakers may be announced in the future.


Mr. Roeslein is founder and CEO of Roeslein & Associates (1990) and sister company Roeslein Alternative Energy (2012). Roeslein and RAE develop and operate renewable energy production facilities that convert agricultural and industrial wastes, along with renewable biomass feedstocks, into renewable natural gas and sustainable co-products.


Mr. Mena-Carrasco is CEO of the Global Methane Hub, an international alliance for developing and implementing global methane reduction solutions. In 2021, he launched the Global Methane Pledge, with over 110 countries, including the U.S., signing on to reduce methane emissions by more than 30% by 2030. Previously, Mena-Carrasco served as climate change advisor and practice manager for the World Bank, as minister and vice minister for the environment in Chile, and as co-chair for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.


Additional information regarding the upcoming conference is available on the  conference website.