Three of the gas collectors and water displacement pressure tanks built with Adam Low’s science club students.

January 16, 2010

At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010, the Culhanes joined Dr. Katey Walter Anthony and her husband Peter Anthony and high school science teacher Adam Low in Alaska. There they built an experimental biogas set up in a 40 ft. conex container in the back of Cordova High School. The digester uses the 3 IBC system that Culhane, Fathy, and Rimoin had designed at Sekem in Egypt to prepare for bringing small-scale biogas to colder climates. 

Katey and T.H. had received the first Blackstone Ranch Foundation/National Geographic Innovation Challenge Grant to see if they could harness psychrophilic microbes responsible for climate changing methane release in the permafrost. If their research is successful, they have the chance to improve the prospects for temperate zone and arctic zone biodigesters to offset fossil fuel use.


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Inside the conex six digesters were kept in two separate rooms -- 3 in the 15 C room and 3 in the 25 C room. In each room one digester had psychophiles only, one had mesophiles only and one had a mix of both types of methanogens. The mixed tanks outperformed the others.