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Cow Power to Horsepower: Building a Pilot Plant to Operate a Bus on Dairy Cow-Derived Biomethane

[+] Author Affiliations
Eric Leonhardt, Ben Vos, Richard Riels

Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Paper No. IMECE2010-39266, pp. 1293-1299; 7 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


A pilot facility to capture, upgrade and compress biomethane from a dairy cow-based anaerobic digester is being constructed by the Western Washington University Vehicle Research Institute at the Vander Haak Dairy. A faculty and student team has designed the facility and undertaken its construction. The facility will provide fuel for an Airporter Shuttle/Bellair coach that will operate along the U. S. Interstate 5 corridor from near the U. S./Canadian border to the SeaTac Airport south of Seattle, Washington. The facility is designed to study and develop a renewable energy source for transportation in Whatcom County. This paper examines the benefits of the Biomethane for Transportation project, the challenges facing dairy-derived biomethane and an overview of the system design and construction.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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