UW-Oshkosh: Major UW Oshkosh announcement Friday on international partnership supporting Environmental Engineering Technology degree, renewable energy initiatives

Contact: Alex Hummel
Integrated Marketing and Communications
[email protected]
(920) 424-1398

(UW Oshkosh – Dec. 12) The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and its Germany-based sustainability and renewable energy partner, The Viessmann Group, will make a major program announcement on Friday, Dec. 14 regarding a new, international, academic collaboration supporting the institution’s College of Letters and Science, its Renewable Energy Institute and new Environmental Engineering Technology and renewable energy endeavors.

Members of the media are invited to join UW Oshkosh and UW Oshkosh Foundation faculty, staff, administrators and Viessmann Group representatives and leaders of its subsidiary BIOFerm™ Energy Systems. The morning media event will take place:

* 9:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

* Reeve Memorial Union Theater, 3rd Floor Room 305 (Reeve Union, UW Oshkosh).

* NOTE: The announcement will be followed by an 11 a.m. visit to Allen Farm, six miles northwest of Oshkosh at 4380 County Road G, home of the newly installed “Titan 55” Biodigester unit – a small-farm scale digester that will generate renewable energy from livestock waste. BIOFerm™ has been an integral partner in the establishment of the Allen Farms unit and other groundbreaking UW Oshkosh Biodigester projects.

Honoring an academic, renewable energy partner

Friday’s announcement and the Allen Farm trip are scheduled to take place on the eve of UW Oshkosh’s Midyear Commencement ceremonies. On Saturday, Dec. 15, in addition to the nearly 1,000 degrees the institution will award its graduating students, Chancellor Richard Wells will award Viessmann Group chief financial officer and biogas sector leader, Joachim Janssen, the Chancellor’s Medallion.

Janssen, who will also represent his company at Friday’s announcement, has been part of the collaborative UW Oshkosh-Viessmann team that helped envision and create and startup of the institution’s first-of-its-kind-in-the-western hemisphere dry fermentation anaerobic Biodigester. The facility harvests gas produced as a result of the decomposition of agricultural plant and food waste within airless storage chambers. The gas is used to produce heat and electricity at the plant site off Witzel Avenue, next to the University’s Campus Services Center. Viessmann and BIOFerm™ helped make this renewable energy-learning laboratory a reality, generating up to 10 percent of UW Oshkosh’s energy.

Janssen is also leading a 2:30 p.m., Dec. 14 lecture and panel discussion in UW Oshkosh’s Sage Hall, Room 1216.

Allen Farm Biodigester a major innovation for Wisconsin’s small farms

The Friday visit to Allen Farm and the “Titan 55” unit will highlight how one of Wisconsin’s thousands of small farms has moved one big step closer to becoming one of its most innovative, green-energy pioneers.

The “Titan 55” Biodigester unit, also referred to as an EUCOlino (oy-COH-lee-no), was lowered into its new home at Allen Farms in the early hours of Thursday morning, Nov. 2. It took over a month for the small-scale, plug-and-play containerized digester to travel from a manufacturing plant in Poland by ship, and across America’s heartlands before reaching Oshkosh this week.

The Titan 55 is BIOFerm™’s smallest anaerobic digester and is specifically designed for operations with a limited organic waste stream, making it ideal for farms the size of Dave Allen’s. The Biodigester will process manure produced by the farm’s 135 dairy cows to make biogas.

Part of Titan 55’s appeal is its smaller, more manageable size. It was designed with farmers specifically in mind, to help them process waste like manure and spoiled silage, while adding value to the farm.

Titan 55 is the second Biodigester to come from BIOFerm™’s partnership with UW Oshkosh and the UW Oshkosh Foundation. The first was a dry fermentation digester built in 2011, which supplies the campus with 10 percent of its electrical needs in part by processing its dining hall food waste.

“We’ve been very privileged in our partnership with the university,” said BIOFerm™ President and CEO, Nadeem Afghan. “Their dedication to the creation of renewable energy has been the driving force behind both these Biodigesters. BIOFerm™’s Titan 55 is just the first of many projects of its kind, and opens a realm of possibility for biogas production on small dairy farms that was previously lacking.”

The UW Oshkosh Allen Farm Titan 55 project received grants from Focus On Energy and the Wisconsin State Energy Office. The small-scale Biodigester is projected to be fully operational early 2013 after which point it will be available for public viewing.

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About Viessmann Group

The Viessmann Group of Allendorf, Germany, is an internationally renowned, $2.5 billion energy-systems titan whose advancements in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy led to German Sustainability Awards in 2009 and 2011 and the Energy Efficiency Award in 2010. President and CEO Dr. Martin Viessmann, spring 2012 recipient of an honorary doctorate from UW Oshkosh, has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 1st Class, the highest tribute his government pays individuals for their service to the nation. The company’s “Viessmann Academy” has trained and educated more than 90,000 industry specialists including contractors, planners, architects, property developers and Viessmann employees on regenerative heating technologies.

About BIOFerm™ Energy Systems

BIOFerm™ Energy Systems is based in Madison, WI and specializes in the design and construction of biogas plants across North America. It is a wholly owned subsidiary within the Viessmann Group, a $2.5 billion company that has been family-owned since 1917. Together with Schmack Biogas, BIOFerm™ has constructed over 280 AD systems worldwide. BIOFerm™ offers a comprehensive range of digester technologies, including wet and dry AD systems. These systems produce biogas that can be combusted directly in a combined heat and power unit (CHP) or further upgraded to create compressed natural gas for vehicle use or be injected into the natural gas pipeline. Other technologies can also be applied to convert biogas to higher value liquid chemicals or plastics.

About the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the third-largest public university in the state and has been providing high-quality affordable education since 1871. UW Oshkosh is committed to providing students with a broad knowledge base and transferable skills as well as a strong sense of values and ethics that prepares them for civic leadership in society. The campus community promotes enrichment and active learning with opportunities for sports and recreation, arts and culture, service learning and career building. Nearly 13,500 students benefit from the nationally recognized expertise of our faculty, a wide variety of courses and degrees offered — including 60 undergraduate majors, 13 master’s degree programs and one doctoral degree (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) — and modest class sizes that foster one-on-one and collaborative learning with professors, rather than teaching assistants.

UW Oshkosh, the nation’s first Fair Trade University, has been recognized for its role in embracing sustainable practices, such as building “green,” examining its carbon footprints and promoting social justice. UW Oshkosh also is home to a first-in-the-western hemisphere anaerobic dry fermentation Biodigester, which generates energy from campus and community plant and food waste.

Located on the Fox River and near downtown Oshkosh, the University serves the community and beyond through a multitude of programs, services and partnerships, including collaborations with other colleges, nationally and internationally.

The University is proud of its more than 80,000 alumni. Their successes reflect on the quality education and personal experiences had at UW Oshkosh.

UW Oshkosh –– where excellence and opportunity meet.

Find more UW Oshkosh news at http://www.uwosh.edu/news, or follow UWOshkoshToday on Twitter.

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