Virtual MSU Anaerobic Digester Operator Training (Pilot Course)

Anaerobic digestion of organic waste is a time-tested method for stabilizing organics while controlling emissions and generating renewable energy.  While the operational goals of a digester system may vary between municipal, industrial and agricultural waste, the basic biological and mechanical characteristics of successful systems is consistent.  The purpose of this training is to provide guidance to anaerobic digester operators that will enable them to safely maximize biogas production and waste treatment.  While the core content is intended for operators of digesters, the material does have value for developers, engineers, owners, regulators and policymakers. 

The virtual offering of this content will allow for a mix of self-paced learning with weekly live discussion periods to review content and answer questions over a four-week period.

Cost: $600
No refunds will be given for cancellations on or after Nov. 10, 2020, or for no-shows.

The course is approved for 1.8 CEC by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

The course schedule for this pilot offering is provided here:

Week 1, November 10 – Anaerobic Digestion Basics

Self-paced modules

  • Introduction to Anaerobic Digestion
  • Anaerobic Digester Technologies & Design Basics
  • Feedstocks and Co-digestion
  • Advanced Digestion – Chemistry and Math

Discussion – November 17, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST

Week 2, November 18 – Anaerobic Digestion Operations

Self-paced modules

  • Operational Planning and Data Collection
  • Understanding and Interpreting Performance Data
  • Digester startup and troubleshooting
  • Safety for anaerobic digestion

Discussion – November 24, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST


Week 3, November 24 – Anaerobic Digestion Design & Planning

Self-paced modules

  • Permitting and regulatory
  • Feedstock management & material handling
  • Digester heating design and operational considerations
  • Digester mixing design and operational considerations
  • System automation
  • Biogas utilization technologies + O&M

Discussion – December 1, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST


Week 4, December 2 – Advanced Operational Topics

Self-paced modules

  • Troubleshooting common operational challenges
  • Managing change at the Digester
  • Operational Maintenance and Case Studies
  • Biogas utilization technologies + O&M
  • Revenue and Environmental Benefits
  • Digestate management & market potential

Discussion – December 8, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST

Registration for Virtual MSU Anaerobic Digester Operator Training (Pilot Course) is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on November 3, 2020.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information, contact Dana Kirk at