Will BrintonWill Brinton (Woods End) and Jeff Bragg (Rainbow Valley Farm) presented results of a pilot “dry-digester” proposed for Bragg’s farm expansion. MTI (Maine Technology Institute), Stonyfield Farms, Organic Valley and others supported the project. The premise is that farmers are  interested in converting manure to forms of heat and electricity but are worried about high structural costs for liquid-based methane reactors which have huge size deterrents. Dry digestion means that instead of 3% solids the reactors are run at 25-30% solids – a situation considered impossible until breakthroughs in Germany turned it into one of fastest growing sectors for on-farm biogas. Until Woods End started reporting on this new development in 2007, American firms were unaware of the new technology. Dry digestion testing is more complex than traditional liquid tests. In the past 2 years Woods End has re-designed and built 2 high-solids system from the ground up using European-based innovations. “There are still many bugs in the dry-digestion theory” (Brinton). Woods End’s work on creating designs for dairy-scale dry digestion will be seen at Maine Farm Days “Innovation for our Energy Future” held this year at the Barker Farm in Leeds, Maine. on August 21,22.