Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Donald J. McMahon


Donald J. McMahon


Conly L. Hansen


Marie K. Walsh


Silvana Martini


The Western Dairy Center at Utah State University had recognized through traiing of cheesemaking that a challenge that can exist for farmstead and artisan cheese manufacturing operations is disposal or utilization of the whey that is produced when milk is converted into cheese. Land application of whey is limited and can cause odor problems which would be detrimental to a cheesemaking operation located at the rual-urban interface.

The project provided information in support of a research grant from the Western Sustainable Agribulture Research and Education program that was investigating economics and feasiblity of using anaerobic digestion for treatment of whey and cow manure mixtures. We performed initial trials to determine the level of whey that could be mixed with manure and have satisfactory operation of the digester to produce methane and a biomass. A continuous digester was used to produce biomass material for microbiological and physical testing for its suitability for use as a renewable potting mix or soil conditioner.

The benefits from this research are that we have shown how a value-added product can be made by converting whey and manure into a deodorized biomass that could replace the use of peat moss, which is a non-renewable resource. This can improve the economics of using a bioreactor for whey disposal.



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