Students in some of Bellingham Technical College’s programs will soon have a chance to learn about anaerobic digesters, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The nearly $300,000 two-year grant, from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will allow the college to create curriculum and opportunities for students to get an Anaerobic Digester Technician Certificate.
Anaerobic digesters are designed to break-down manure or farm waste and can create a variety of byproducts, including electricity, compost and fertilizer. They are gaining popularity as people look to renewable energy sources; Whatcom County currently has two digesters operating, one of them the oldest in the state.
The new curriculum for the certificate will be embedded into a few of the college’s existing degree programs, including Process and Control Technology, Diesel Technology and Heating, Ventilation, Air Condition and Refrigeration Technology. As part of the new curriculum, students will have a chance to operate, maintain and repair small digesters on campus.
Ferndale-based Andgar Corporation and Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources will partner with the college to develop the curriculum and class materials.