Bio­gas Di­gester-in-a-bag Brings Porta­bil­ity

Southern Innovator - - WASTE & RECYCLING -

Bio­gas is fuel made from biodegrad­able or­ganic ma­te­rial such as kitchen, an­i­mal or hu­man waste. it can be con­verted into gas ei­ther by be­ing heated or us­ing anaer­o­bic bac­te­ria to break down the ma­te­rial and turn it into com­bustible meth­ane gas.

Most bio­gas sys­tems are com­plex and large, in­volv­ing an enor­mous domed biodi­gester. But a clever so­lu­tion from Kenya, the Flexi Bio­gas sys­tem, is dif­fer­ent. It is de­signed to be highly por­ta­ble and scal­able depend­ing on a per­son’s needs. The Flexi Bio­gas sys­tem is a pil­low-shaped PVC tar­pau­lin, mea­sur­ing 6 me­tres by 3 me­tres. It comes in two parts: a plas­tic di­gester bag on the in­side and a green­house-like plas­tic tun­nel on the out­side. The tun­nel traps heat and keeps tem­per­a­tures be­tween 25 and 36 de­grees Cel­sius.

Sub­jected to the heat of the sun, the en­vi­ron­ment in­side the bag en­cour­ages mi­crobes to di­gest the or­ganic ma­te­rial, or sub­strate as it is known, re­leas­ing bio­gas bub­bles and in­flat­ing the bag with meth­ane. This gas is then sent through a PVC tube that can be con­nected to a gas-burn­ing ap­pli­ance such as a cook­ing stove.

Cur­rently, most peo­ple use the bio­gas for light­ing and cook­ing but the sys­tem also pro­duces enough gas to run agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery.

The Flexi Bio­gas di­gester sits on the ground and thus is easy to ob­serve and un­der­stand.

The Flexi Bio­gas sys­tem is de­signed, built and sold by Kenya’s Bio­gas In­ter­na­tional, which has sold 200 of the sys­tems since 2011. In 2012, the com­pany part­nered with – the United Na­tions’ In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment ( IFAD) to in­stall nine sys­tems on dairy farms in Kenya. These Flexi Bio­gas sys­tems use kitchen and hu­man waste to pro­duce elec­tric­ity for light­ing and to pro­vide In­ter­net ser­vice. – (De­cem­ber 2012)

IM­AGES

1 2 3 The Flexi Bio­gas di­gester filled with gas. As­sem­bling the Flexi Bio­gas sys­tem. Fill­ing the Flexi Bio­gas di­gester with ex­cre­ment. • bio­gas.co.ke • ifad.org

Flexi Bio­gas di­gester be­fore it has filled up with gas.

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