Michigan State University Converts Detroit Zoo Waste to Energy

The anaerobic digester is the first at a zoo in North America.

Michigan State University has teamed up with the Detroit Zoo in order to convert the facility’s waste into energy. The research team will implement an aerobic digester at the zoo, marking the first time such technology will be implemented at such a facility in all of North America.

The Michigan State University research team was led by Dana Kirk, who saw an opportunity to utilize the significant amount of animal and food waste produced by the zoo in order to produce methane gas that could be captured and repurposed to power different parts of the facility. The Detroit Zoo’s digester powers its animal hospital, which uses anywhere from 100 to 150 kw of power per hour.