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Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion to Boost Biogas Markets

small scale biogas and anaerobic digestionSmall scale, distributed anaerobic digestion plants could offer an environmentally and economically stable solution for locally produced biogas.

In Germany government incentives have led to the development of over 6000 anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities, generating twice as much power as all of the country's waste to energy facilities combined.

However many of these are large scale, 1 MW plus facilities, and the proliferation of such plants has affected both tipping fees for food waste - which have fallen from between Eur 60 to 80 per tonne down to Eur 10 to 20 per tonne - and biocrop prices to such an extent as to put many at risk of becoming economically unviable.

According to Craig Benton of Composting and Recycling Consultants, mini-biogas facilities could offer the ideal solution for farm waste.

Speaking at the Energy from Biomass and Waste Conference in London today, Benton claimed that most vendors of anaerobic digestion and biogas equipment offer systems starting at around 250 kW. In most farm applications, such systems lead to a dependence on importing feedstocks from the surrounding area which can be economically risky.

However, Benton claimed that a new system from Austrian firm, Bio4gas could offer the ideal solution. Available in two sizes - 20/25 kW and 50 kW - the system enables farmers to use animal slurry from their own farm to generate heat, power and digestate.

At the heart of the product is the patented 'Thermal Gas Lift' - a passive mixing system that Benton said offers reduced energy consumption through the use of gas pressure to force the slurry mixture through holes in the bottom.

The smaller of the two systems features a 220 cubic metre tank that is dug into the ground and holds 180 cubic metres of material. In addition a double chamber digester produces more biogas than a single tank.

According to Benton the advantages offered by a more distributed approach to biogas are significant, with potential returns on investment ranging between 12.5% and 16.4% based on conservative figures.

Benton added that small scale biogas production could free the operator from the "whims of the market", insulating them from rising biocrop prices and the prospect of falling tipping fees.

Additionally, as all of the feedstock is sourced from the host farm itself, the digestate can be used to fertilise the farmer's own land with no solid waste permit or license is required.

Source: http://www.waste-management-world.com/

TSB set to install biogas plants in 14 sisal estates


The Tanzania Sisal Board (TSB) has taken bold and foresighted decision by opting for biogas for power generation to its sisal estates. OUR CORRESPONDENT reports that the ambitious project will initially cover 14 sisal estates specifically picked because of their performance.
The move, he writes, will enable TSB to stop using power from the national power utility firm - TANESCO - which at present pockets 40 per cent of the total running cost in the sisal industry. The 14 biogas plants are expected to generate about 500 MW, sufficient to meet the estates’ needs while the surplus will be sold to the national grid. Read on…
Electricity stakeholders in the country - manufacturing industries, institutions and individual households - are evidently not happy with the country’s sole energy power provider, the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO).
They are particularly frustrated by the intermittent power cuts which have persisted for too long. As if this was not a serious shortcoming, the stakeholders have again to grapple with ever escalating exorbitant power tariffs.
Experts believe that the suffering wrought on the populace is a result of the power utility firm’s monopoly in the provision of electricity in the country.
“TANESCO should not be allowed to run its business side by side with the government. It should have competitors. In the process, prices of electricity will be pushed down”, says a Dar es Salaam based industrial engineer.
He believes that competition which would be brought about by investment in the sector could cover a larger population of power users; hence more revenue to the government.
Having noticed that the country’s energy cost is too high, the Tanzania Sisal Board (TSB) has envisaged to put up a total of 14 biogas plants for production of biogas for electricity generation.
The parastatal also aims at running away from the present exorbitant cost which it pays to TANESCO, amounting to 40 per cent of the total direct running cost in the sisal industry.
“The anticipated move is intended to enable TSB to participate fully in supplementing the government’s efforts to provide power to the country,” says Hamisi Mapinda, TSB’s Acting Director General.
Mapinda said the plants would be erected at sisal estates earmarked for this purpose.
“Fourteen estates where the plants will be installed were picked on merit based on performance,” said the acting DG in an exclusive interview with THE GUARDIAN recently.
The plants will be installed at Magoma, Gomba, Rudewa, Magunga, Fatemi, Kigombe and Kwaruguru estates.
Other estates are Mwera,Toronto, Mazinde, Mkumbara, Lugongo, Mwelya and Ubena.
The DG said the proposed plants are expected to generate about 500 MW, which according to the board, is sufficient to meet the estates needs while the surplus will be sold to the national grid.
“Apart from the envisaged installation of the plants, we also intend to erect 3,000 digesters to 3,000 households for generation of biogas for both lighting and cooking,” he says.
Mapinda said his institution has already prepared a 10 year crop development plan - an implementation of the Election Manifesto 2010 - for the purpose of promoting production and productivity in the sisal industry and ultimately overcoming the effects of poverty, hence ensuring household food security.
According the proposed plan, which has already been availed to stakeholders for their views as implementers of the strategy, a large chunk of land - 146,061.69 hectares of sisal - has been earmarked for development.
“This includes 131,069.79 hectares of mature sisal land and 14,981.90 hectares of immature sisal land,” says Mapinda.
The area under the ownership of small scale sisal farmers will be increased from the present 6748 hectares in 2010 to 22,200 hectares in 2020,” he says.
In order to ensure the selected estates have enough sisal for decortications, the industry will put emphasis on replanting new sisal, cleaning of existing sisal fields as well as encouraging the use of soil and water conservation techniques, according to Mapinda.
To succeed in such endeavors, TBS’s plan lists objectives such as mobilization of financial, human and technological resources for increased production.
Others, says the sisal boss, are increases in the country’s export market share from the current 7 per cent to 39 per cent within the plan period.
“Participation of small holders and out-grower farmers in the industry, shall be increased from the current 418 households in 2010 to 4,400 households within the plan period,” according to him, adding that the aim is to widen their participation and improve the farmers income and alleviate poverty.
Presently, the sisal industry has one biogas plant – installed at Hale in 2007 as a pilot project. Built at a cost of 1.5 million US dollars, it was financial by Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), United National Development Organization (UNIDO) and the government of Tanzania.
Commenting on the proposed installation of the plants, a retired government school head, Aloyce Gondwe, said TSB had taken a step in the right direction by investing in other sources of power.
He added: “The government should use what is available in the country. There is solar energy, windmill etc. which are cheaper than hydroelectric power.”
Sole dependence on hydro power is not appropriate, he says, adding: “The use of this energy is too expensive because for electricity to reach a village or school, you need poles, wires and transformers, components which are definitely out of the reach of the intended consumers”.

TDUPW - Ministry of Scienece & Technology. Projct beneficiatie with Biogas plants and RWH tanks. 20Nos. - RWH, 20Nos. - Biogas 1m3 portable

Biogas Plant India Photos

Biogas Plant India Photos

Biogas Plant India Photos

Biogas Plant India Photos

Biogas Plant India Photos

 Shining Hope Community Bio-Digester 
As gas builds at the top of the dome, the remaining waste is pushed downward, out of the dome and into the expansion chamber, which is within the wall circumscribing the dome in the picture above. Once the bio-digester has been used long enough that the expansion chamber can be filled, we will be able to expand it into an auxiliary pit where extremely potent fertilizer can be extracted and immediately used in our vegetable garden literally feet away.
In this picture you can see our new bio-digester (left) next to the old pit latrines previously used by our staff and the surrounding community. As you can see, classic pit latrines are dilapidated, poorly constructed, and unclean - our bio-digester is a desperately needed service for the residents of Kibera.

To the left of the bio-digester, Shining Hope has also constructed a 10,000L water tank, which we will connect to a water purification system that will be the only source in Kibera for affordable, clean water.

Our construction has left room for a second floor to be constructed at a later date. This community space will be used for health outreaches, committee meetings, or even club meetings. In this model, a center promoting clean sanitation practices becomes a hub for civil society.
The ground floor of the latrine, being constructed here, holds six toilets, three on each side, which are separated into two different rooms. Each toilet has a separate compartment, allowing for complete privacy. On each side is also a bathing room with piped water. In between the two rooms is a kiosk, where a staff member can sit to manage the influx of residents.
In this picture, you can see the piping on the first level being connected to the dome which lays below the metal wiring. In the background is The Kibera School for Girls.

This entire structure is constructed 15 feet underground, and serves as the foundation for the latrine at ground level. The entire structure is less than 30 feet in diameter.
Our bio-digester will also help fight global warming. The natural methane emissions that it traps in the underground dome structure are converted to CO2 and water, keeping the harmful gas from getting into our atmosphere. It also reduces the demand for kerosene and other fossil fuels that are used in Kibera to light fires.

Umande Trust has built dozens of latrines throughout Kenya, revolutionizing the model for sustainable sanitation. Their latrines are a clean and healthy alternative to the unmanaged expensive pit latrines pervasive in Kibera. The latrine, which we call a bio-digester, collects human waste without requiring sewage infrastructure, and converts it into cooking gas and fertilizer that can be used by the community. They are cleaned and regulated by resident committees, and can also use the space for community
Throughout every step of the construction, Shining Hope employed community residents for every skilled and unskilled job required to make the project successful, including a difficult excavation, the laying of bricks, and construction of the all-important bio-dome. The entire project was developed using locally available technology and local raw materials.
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Clean Energy Foundation Installs Biogas Units in Karatina and Gatundu, Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (April 20, 2010)–The Clean Energy Foundation’s (CEF) Nairobi, Kenya-based operation has successfully installed compact biogas units (BGU’s) in Karatina and Gatundu, Kenya.
Karatina is about 85 miles north of Nairobi near Mt. Kenya National park. Gatundu is a small town in the Central Province of Kenya.
The installation in Karatina was for Captain Kagombe, a local resident who owns three dairy cows there. The installation in Gatundu (in a village called Muhara) will be used by Ruth Njeri.
“Captain Kagombe and his wife were excited to have the biogas unit installed,” said Tony Muiruri, who heads up research and product installation for CEF in Kenya.
A retired military captain, Kagombe built himself a refrigerated room after he was contracted by Kenya Creamery Co-operative to collect, bulk, chill and transport milk for them.
Both Kagombe and Njeri, according to Muiruri, will feed their systems with cow manure, which will provide them with gas to cook meals and boil water for purification.  Their systems are both one cubic meter.
“A gas hose was installed and a new biogas burner was given to the clients,” Muiruri said.
After Muiruri installed the biogas systems, he trained Kagombe and Njeri on basic troubleshooting and operation, and provided them with manuals and brochures. Muiruri said the area has high potential for replication.
About the Clean Energy Foundation
The Clean Energy Foundation (CEF), an international non-profit organization, is based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
The purpose of the Clean Energy Foundation is to develop renewable, clean energy solutions to help satisfy human needs for potable water, health, energy, education and food. Current projects are related to biogas, solar lighting and water purification implementation.
With operations currently in Nairobi, Kenya, the foundation seeks to make an impact globally.
Bryan McGinnis, Director of Operations, is in charge of technology development in emerging countries.
The CEF project was started by Tony Tiedemann, a Chandler, Arizona resident and founder and president of Tiedemann Globe. Since 1998, Tiedemann Globe has been a leading exporter of used clothes oversees.
Tiedemann is focusing CEF projects in Nairobi largely because Tiedemann Globe has established infrastructure, including shipping, buildings, and personnel in the populous East African city.
The Clean Energy Foundation seeks monetary donations, product donations, subsidies, grants and other support.
For more information, call McGinnis at (602) 278-6545 or e-mail him at bryan@cefnd.org.

Feeding the biogas unit with cow manure. April 15, 2010. Karatina, Kenya.

Captain Kagombe of Karatina, Kenya, with his grandson King'ara, his new biogas unit, and the operating instructions, installed by CEF Kenya (www.cefnd.org)

ECO-FRIENDLY TOILET ( Toilet Attached Biogas Plant )


The different kinds of bio waste including human excreta causing serious threat to human health and cleanliness of the surroundings can be converted to bioenergy and bio manure by treating with the application of biogas technology. This write up is intended to throw some light for imparting preliminary information about the working of the eco - friendly toilets developed by BIOTECH. In view of the ever increasing population and the scarcity of housing facilities, people particularly those belonging to the below poverty line are compelled to dwell in small cottages or huts built near the costal areas of the sea, or on the banks of rivers or by the sides of lakes. In these situations necessary modern facilities required for maintaining cleanliness are far beyond their reach. These people are even unable to construct good toilets for attending to the calls of nature. The main reasons attributable for this state of affairs are scarcity of suitable land, financial difficulties and above all the ignorance of the people as well. As a result of all these, a situation has emerged by which, people have to go searching for open spaces for finding a convenient place for passing urine and for related primary needs. It is also noticed that in certain places people are building toilets by erecting logs of woods over the water in the rivers and back waters. Even in the city areas in some places it is seen that people are connecting the pipes coming out of their toilets directly to the waste water drains and canals for flushing out the waste water and human excreta. All these tendencies will lead to the problem of serious contamination of water and pollution of the atmosphere. In high water level areas in the cities, it will not be possible to construct septic tanks. If, however, septic tanks are built in such places, the cost may be very high. According to the study reports published in recent times, it is seen that the drinking water sources as well as the underground water springs are being considerably contaminated. If the contamination of drinking water is continued as at present, the non availability of pure water may become a global phenomenon in the near future. The poisonous gases produced by the human excreta which are flushed out indiscriminately may linger in the atmosphere, and this may lead to such of the havocs as global warming, climate change etc. Even though many scientific methods have been developed for the treatment of human excreta, it has not so far become possible to take the full benefit to the people or to make the people fully conscious of all the advantages of the process. If the people are to show any interest in the scientific technology, they should be made to understand that the inherent benefits derived from the process will accrue to the people themselves. Further the common people should be enabled to take up such projects without incurring any additional financial burden for them or they should be provided with adequate financial support by different agencies to embark upon such schemes. Selection of the Size of the Plant It is sufficient to have a treatment plant of 2 Cum size, for treating human waste and bio waste generated in a household having a family comprising up to a total of five members. The most important point to be taken note of while operating a plant is, to regulate the quantity of waste to be fed into the plant, strictly in accordance with the optimum treatment capacity per day. If, however, the plant is overfed by the deposit of more quantity of waste, the working efficiency of the plant will gradually become deteriorated. In such situations the gas produced from such plants may not be ignited, and in some cases stink odour may also come out from the plant in a large measure. But if the plant is fed with the bio waste in accordance with its treatment capacity, the plant will work very efficiently for a pretty long period. Even if the quantity of waste fed into the plant is a little less than the prescribed limit, or the plant is not fed at all for a few days the working of the plant will not be affected. But the quantity of bio gas produced will be found to be a little reduced in proportion to the quantity of waste fed into the plant. Apart from households, the public institutions like hostels, convents, hospitals etc where people are coming in for short stays, the toilets can be attached with large sized plants for treating the human wastes for the production of energy. The size of such plants is determined in accordance with the total number of inmates of those institutions. If the plants of the required size are not selected correctly, the working of the plant may be in trouble. Operation of the Plant After the plant has been installed, anaerobic bacteria is allowed to grow and multiply with in the plant. After a period of two or three days the plant will be in working condition and the production of biogas will commence in full scale. A pipe from the toilet can be attached to the plant. The required facility for this will be provided in the plant. The food waste generated from the household and the waste water can be treated in the plant. Separate inlets for depositing these wastes are available in the plant. The bio waste and the human excreta that reach inside the plant will be decomposed by the work of the bacteria and transformed into biogas and bio manure. The biogas produced is collected in the gas chamber of the plant. This gas can be taken as fuel for cooking purposes by connecting the gas to the stove in the kitchen using separate pipe line. The stoves required for the purpose will be made available along with the plant. The biogas obtained from the waste treatment plants installed in the houses having a total number up to five family members, will be sufficient for meeting 70% to 90% of energy required for cooking purposes. In the meantime if the toilet is also attached to the plant more than 90% to 100% of the fuel requirement of the family can be met from the biogas produced in the plant. Financial benefits By constructing eco friendly toilet, although numerous benefits can be derived, the main achievement is the financial gain of this project. By utilizing the biogas produced by the waste treatment plant attached to the toilet, the entire expenditure incurred for the installation of the plant is seen received back within a period of nearly one and a half years. This is a very useful project, according to which, even if the expenditure incurred for the construction of the toilet is also taken into account the whole amount spent for the purpose can be fully retrieved within a limited period of nearly two years. Apart from this, the amount to be invested for the construction of the septic tank can also be saved, and this is yet another financial benefit. In brief, it can be realized that this is a programme by which substantial amount of avoidable expenditure can be saved. Possibilities for the Future By the implementation of the scheme through which a lasting solution is sought against the increasing fuel crisis, frightening environmental pollution, and alarming hygienic problems, we are launching the commencement of a new era of silent revolution in areas of waste treatment, pollution free atmosphere and cleaner environment. For those persons who are looking for private spaces for attending to their calls of nature can maintain healthy and cleaner habits to become partners for the prevention of contamination of the earth and the atmosphere. By making use of the biogas produced of their own, the people can reduce the use of other fuels considerably. Through the establishment of eco friendly toilets and installation of biogas plants, the enormous cost of fuel worth crores of rupees can be gained by our people particularly our country. For this, we seek the unstinted co-operation and whole hearted support of one and all. 
Descriptive tags: bio energy bio energy india bio fertilizer bio manure biogas india domestic biogas plant electricity from waste energy from waste gobar gas gobar gas plant kitchen waste to biogas liquid fertilizer liquid manure organic fertilizer organic manure pre fabricated biogas plant waste to electricity waste to energy

From Uenergy Project to Takamoto Biogas

From Uenergy Project to Takamoto Biogas

During part of the research phase of this company it was called UEnergy Project. This video was created to explain the problem that was identified and the proposed solution for sanitation, waste management and clean energy for Africa.

Biogas Fuel Cell Could Offer an Affordable Alternative to Short-Lived Batteries

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are pioneering a methane fuel cell which could provide portable storage for small-scale power generation, and an affordable alternative to conventional short-lived batteries for laptops and other portable devices.
Expense has held back the development of hydrogen fuel cells, which have an optimum operating temperature in excess of 800°C. Noble metal catalysts – such as platinum,  currently selling at £1,780 per troy ounce – are needed to reach these temperatures, but exposure to them accelerates the breakdown of other components.
The new micro-scale solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is designed to run on a variety of hydrocarbon fuels, including methane, which can be generated cheaply from organic waste through anaerobic digestion. The research team, led by Shriram Ramanathan, believes the optimum operating temperature of the cell could be lowered by up to 500°C, saving energy and making it more practical, too. Cheaper catalysts, such as nickel and nickel oxide, can also be used, lowering costs.
“This technology is very promising for clean and portable energy”, claims Ramanathan. Applications include a power source for small vehicles, such as forklifts, scooters, and recreational vehicles, and portable, efficient power for remote and rural areas. On a smaller scale and at lower temperatures, Ramanathan believes SOFCs will eventually be able to power portable electronics.
So how long do we have to wait? The research has attracted $500,000 of capital investment from Allied Minds, a corporation specializing in early stage university business ventures, and the Harvard Office of Technology Development has established SiEnergy Systems, LLC to commercialize the technology. SiEnergy is seeking further investors and industrial collaborators to target high-end commercial and military mobile power applications.
By. Lucy Tooher
This article originally appeared in Green Futures magazine.  Green Futures is the leading international magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, published by Forum for the Future.  Its aim is to demonstrate how a sustainable future is both practical and desirable – and can be profitable, too.

Application of Biogas Technology in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Application of Biogas Technology in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia - The spirit of the government to streamline the budget by reducing subsidies gradually lead to the development of alternative fuel and renewable energy sectors. Biogas technology is a very old technology that was developed and used in various countries since decades ago. The technology is easily applied and operated even in different parts of the world, from rurals of Africa with a very-simple technique, to industrial scale in country like Germany. The biogas technology is very suitable developed in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), as the NTB is one of the largest cattle-producing center in Indonesia.

Besides to the potential of biogas application that is feasible (easily constructed), biogas production also provide economic value-added for society as a ready means of energy providers. Based on the calculation of the utilization of manure from two cattles, the biogas production can reach 1 m3 per day. One metric ton (1 m3) of biogas is equivalent to:
  • 60-100 watt light bulb for 6 hours.
  • 5-6 hours to cook using gas stoves
  • Equivalent to 0.7 liters of gasoline
  • Able to produce 1.25 kwh electricity

Biogas is a gaseous mixture of methane (60-70%), CO2 and other gases generated by bacterial methanogenesis found in swamps and ruminants stomachs like cattles and buffaloes.
Biogas formed through three stages: hydrolysis, acidification (acidification), and methanogenesis. In the hydrolysis stage, the molecules of oxidized enzymatically into short molecules. These short-chain molecules is degraded further into organic acids by acetogenic bacteria. Furthermore, organic acids are degraded into methane. The entire gas produced in the third stage of the process is called biogas.
Proposal for the development of a Biogas plant

Source:  http://ewb-kansas-state.wikispaces.com/file/view/Proposal+for+the+development+of+a+Biogas+plant.doc

Danie Ludick

1. Our Needs…………………………………………………………… 3
2. The Biogas process…………………………………………………...4
3. Conclusion……………………………………………………………9
4. Resources and Acknowledgements…………………………………..10

1. Our needs

The process of transforming waste to energy is not a new idea. Research has shown that systems are already implemented in the USA, China, India and many other countries.

The implementation of small scale biogas (mixture of CH4 also known as methane and CO2) plants for farm or rural communities are however something that is fairly new to South Africa. One of the documented implementations of a bio-gas plant is at Maphephetheni in Kwazulu Natal

Not only do biogas digesters meet the thermal energy needs of communities, but they also have significant other benefits, such as:

  • Improved air quality (the amount of smoke released into the atmosphere is reduced)
  • Improved health and reduce respiratory elements
  • Better management of animal dung and human excrement
  • Reduce ground water pollution
  • Reduce deforestation and resulting soil erosion
  • Reduce depletion of solar nutrients
  • Reduce green house gas emissions
  • The slurry provides an excellent fertiliser and thereby increases crop production, or can be sold to generate income.
  • Electricity can be produced that can be used to power communities or that can be used to generate income. The income can be used to fund other projects to improve the living standards of under developed communities.
As a team, we need to consider various aspects before we choose the optimum design or unit that suits our needs. The following is a list of factors that we must consider when choosing a methane plant implementation.

  • The system must be compatible with the environment – Proper knowledge of the site, and environment related data. (This is crucial – choosing incorrect or non-optimum equipment is one of the main reasons a project like this will fail).
  • Cost of the plant equipment and development
  • Accessibility of the site – (Especially for equipment during the building phase)
  • Duration of the development- and building phase
  • Plant power system (Electricity).
  • The plant must adhere to certain industry standards (esp. regarding the safety of the plant)
  • Cost of maintaining the plant
  • Control of the plant by the community (Training programs)
  • Environmental issues or problems and how this is to be managed.
bio-gas process diagram


Currently, the production and use of biogas is ruled under biofuels law no. 26.093, decree 109 year 2007. Even though such law is very active when dealing with biodiesel and ethanol, demand for biogas in Argentina is too low and sanctions that directly apply to its production and use have not yet been defined.
Table I presents several current and future methane recovery and biogas projects. Only one out of four landfills that use methane recovery methods actually generates electricity form it, and this is not even on a daily basis. Those facilities that operate anaerobic digesters around the country use biogas mostly for auto consumption as heating, electricity, and cooking gas helping them reduce their costs and solve some of their contaminating waste problems. Although Argentina has the second largest GNC vehicle fleet in the world and uses primarily NG for cooking and heating, there are no projects to produce and inject biogas to supply the national natural gas grid.

Biogas - an energy source of growing importance

Soon there will be 8 billion people living on our globe. This is an incredible number thinking that only one hundred years ago there were not even 2 billions!. Mankind has grown tremendously and so have some problems. By producing biogas we could fight two major problems of mankind.
Two problems of a growing mankind. The first is the growing amount of waste we produce – including also organic waste. When organic waste rots, it sets free CO2 and methane. Both gases are known to be greenhouse gases, which means, they make our earth warmer. And second, our modern society depends on the energy of fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal. These fuels are limited and might be used up soon. Using them always means burning them, which again leads to a higher amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Biogas as a solution. Biogas is made of organic waste or agricultural crops especially grown for that purpose. Thus it reduces the amount of waste in our landfills. Biogas is also a powerful fuel, which can help to satisfy our energy needs in a sustainable and CO2 neutral way.
Production of biogas- If you produce biogas, you let biomass rot in the absence of oxygen. Under these “anearobic” conditions organic matter rots with the help of microorganisms to produce biogas. It is a mixture of methane CH4 (75-50%) and carbon dioxide CO2 (25-50%) and can be burned to carbon dioxide and thereby energy is produced.
Raw material for biogas production. Biogas can be made of almost any kind of organic material.
- organic wastes of cities, sewage sludge
- industrial waste water
- waste water of cities
 - organic wastes of farming (straw, leaves , manure…)

Production of biogas from agricultural organic wastes. Biogas from organic farming wastes is usually produced in fermenters (also called digesters). Those are big containers in which the wastes are decomposed by bacteria in an atmosphere without oxygen. In Germany there are about 3000 such “mini plants”, in Austria there are about 120. Almost all of them use the biogas to produce heat and electricity. The biogas is used to run a motor that produces electricity in the first place and heat as a by-product.

Source: http://www.spaceteacher.org/Biomass/biogas_theory_files/Biogas.doc

Manure to power Ind. dairy farms' delivery trucks

FILE In this Sept. 17, 2003 photo, Dr. Guy Roberts of the Intervale demonstrates a model Anaerobic digester in Burlington, Vt., One of the nation's largest dairy farm cooperatives plans to use manure from its thousands of cows to power a new fleet of milk-delivery trucks. Fair Oaks Farms in northwestern Indiana plans to have 42 new delivery trucks running on renewable natural gas by early next year. The fleet will be able to haul more than 300,000 gallons of milk to processing centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee daily. The fuel is created by anaerobic digester technology, which harnesses microorganisms to turn manure into biogas. The Fair Oaks Farms project will turn the biogas into nearly pure methane that can fuel the natural gas-powered trucks. Photo: Toby Talbot / AP

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — One of the nation's largest dairy cooperatives plans to tap a plentiful energy source — manure from the farms' cows — to power its fleet of milk-delivery trucks.
By early next year, Fair Oaks Farms in northwestern Indiana plans to have 42 new delivery trucks running on compressed natural gas created by harnessing microorganisms to turn the cows' manure into biogas.
Anaerobic digester technology uses bacteria to break down manure in the oxygen-free environment of closed buildings or covered lagoons, producing methane, carbon dioxide and trace gases. Fair Oaks Farms, a marketing cooperative of 10 farms housing about 35,000 cows owned by several families, already operates six digesters which produce gas to run generators that provide electricity to the farms.
The new project supported by federal and state grants will take the technology further, upgrading one of those digesters to turn the biogas into nearly pure methane and compressing it to fuel new natural gas-powered trucks that will replace diesel-power models.
The new fleet will be capable of hauling more than 300,000 gallons of milk each day to processing centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
"The cows making the milk will be helping delivering it too," said Mark Stoermann, project manager for Fair Oaks Farms.
To help extend the trucks' range between fill-ups, they will be outfitted with extra natural gas tanks purchased with a $2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant.
A separate $750,000 state grant will support construction of two fueling stations along Interstate 65 — one at Fair Oaks, which is about 70 miles south of Chicago, and one nearly 220 miles away in Sellersburg, near the state's southeast border with Kentucky. The Fair Oaks station will supply renewable gas derived from manure, while the Sellersburg station will deliver regular natural gas.
Stoermann said Fair Oaks expects to feed enough surplus renewable natural gas from its operations into a pipeline near the farms to more than compensate for the gas its trucks get in Sellersburg.
A handful of California dairy farms produce methane from manure and compress it for use in powering tractors, trucks and other machinery. But that equipment is used primarily on those farms, said Jerry Bingold, director of renewable energy at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, a dairy industry group founded in 2008.
Fair Oaks' broader plan appears to be a first for an American dairy, he said.
"They're actually moving from localized on-dairy use to really long-haul application, which is a significant move for the industry," Bingold said.
About 150 U.S. dairies use anaerobic digesters to process manure and produce power. Bingold said the industry hopes that by 2020, about 1,300 dairies will be using digesters to either generate electricity or make compressed methane.
While U.S. dairies are beginning to realize the potential of manure-to-methane technology, Bingold said agricultural lending institutions still are being sold on the technology's potential, just as other renewable energy sources received slow acceptance.
"We're developing a business model around digester operations that's going to take lessons learned from the wind and the solar industry to really build this industry," Bingold said.
About 2,600 dairy farms and 5,500 hog farms are good candidates for the technology, according to the federal AgSTAR program — a partnership among the U.S. energy and agriculture departments and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that's promoting manure-to-methane technologies.
Those more than 8,000 farms have the potential to produce 13 million total megawatt hours of electricity each year, or enough to power about 870,000 households. Or, the same farms could instead produce some 150 billion cubic feet of renewable methane that would be enough to heat 3 million households, AgSTAR national program manager Chris Voell said.
The nation harnesses less than 2 percent of its potential for renewable methane, Voell said. But he said farms, restaurant chains and big food processors are slowly recognizing that the organic waste they send to landfills or otherwise discard can be turned into power to help their bottom lines.
"The energy policies in this country are in some cases still running to catch up with all of the opportunities out there," he said.
Biogas From Cow Power

Why not use micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungus, etc) to create sustainable energy and fuel? There are a lot of ideas currently being researched and put to use including turning cow manure into natural gas.

Biogas  tubewell in shorkot Pakistan Video

in shorkot Pakistan  the diesel engine converted in to biogas (methane ) its working well and that engine (peter engine) runs tubewell for water.

Biogas tubewell in shorkot

Russia to Develop Biogas Projects to Help Power Rural Regions

Russia plans to develop biogas to provide fuel and power in rural regions, supplementing fossil fuels in the world’s biggest exporter of oil and gas.
The country may produce 66 billion cubic meters of biogas a year from agricultural waste, the Energy Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement. That is equivalent to 33 billion liters (8.7 billion gallons) of gasoline or diesel a year or could generate 110 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 1 billion gigajoules of heat, it said.
The Energy and Agriculture Ministries plan to seek subsidies and legislative support from the government to expand use of the renewable resource and make it profitable, Deputy Agriculture Minister Shamil Vakhitov said in the statement. “Without these measures, bioenergy has no future in Russia.”
OAO Inter RAO UES and China’s National Bio Energy Co. agreed June 16 to create the Green Energy Corp. joint venture by the end of this year to overhaul inefficient power plants that run on coal and fuel oil to include the use of biomass, according to the statement.
To contact the reporter on this story: Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow msysoyeva@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-18/russia-to-develop-biogas-projects-to-help-power-rural-regions.html
Types of  Biogas Plant 

Three main types of simple biogas plants can be distinguished  Figure

  •  balloon plants,
  •  fixed-dome plants,
  •  floating-drum plants.
 Balloon Plants

A balloon plant consists of a plastic or rubber digester bag, in the upper part of which the gas is stored. The inlet and outlet are attached direct to the skin of the balloon. When the gas space is full, the plant works like a fixed-dome plant - i.e., the balloon is not inflated; it is not very elastic. The fermentation slurry is agitated slightly by the movement of the balloon skin. This is favourable to the digestion process. Even difficult feed materials, such as water hyacinths, can be used in a balloon plant. The balloon material must be UV-resistant. Materials which have been used successfully include RMP (red mud plastic), Trevira and butyl. Advantages:
Low cost, ease of transportation, low construction (important if the water table is high), high digester temperatures, uncomplicated cleaning, emptying and maintenance. Disadvantages:
Short life (about five years), easily damaged, does not create employment locally, little scope for self-help.Balloon plants can be recommended wherever the balloon skin is not likely to be damaged and where the temperature is even and high. One variant of the balloon plant is the channel-type digester with folia and sunshade.

Fixed-Dome Plants

A fixed-dome plant Figure consists of an enclosed digester with a fixed, non-movable gas space.The gas is stored in the upper part of the digester. When gas production commences, the slurry is displaced into the compensating tank. Gas pressure increases with the volume of gas stored, therefore the volume of the digester should not exceed 20 m³. If there is little gas in the holder, the gas pressure is low.
Fixed-dome plant 1. Mixing tank with inlet pipe. 2. Digester. 3. Compensating and removal
tank. 4. Gasholder. 5. Gaspipe. 6. Entry hatch, with gaslight seal and weighted. 7.
Difference in level = gas pressure in cm WC. 8. Supernatant scum; broken up by varying
level. 9. Accumulation of thick sludge. 10. Accumulation of grit and stones. 11. Zero line:
filling height without gas pressure.

 If the gas is required at constant pressure (e.g., for engines), a gas pressure regulator or a floating gasholder is required. Engines require a great deal of gas, and hence large gasholders. The gas pressure then becomes too high if there is no floating gasholder.


Low construction cost, no moving parts, no rusting steel parts, hence long life (20 years or more),
underground construction, affording protection from winter cold and saving space, creates employment locally.

Plants often not gaslight (porosity and cracks), gas pressure fluctuates substantially and is often very high, low digester temperatures. Fixed-dome plants can be recommended only where construction can be supervised by experienced biogas technicians.

Floating-Drum Plants

Floating-drum plants Figure 5 consist of a digester and a moving gasholder. The gasholder floats either direct on the fermentation slurry or in a water jacket of its own. The gas collects in the gas drum, which thereby rises. If gas is drawn off, it falls again. The gas drum is prevented from tilting by a guide frame.
Floating-drum plant 1. Mixing tank with inlet pipe. 2. Digester. 3. Overflow on outlet pipe. 4.
Gasholder with braces for breaking up surface scum. 5. Gas outlet with main cock. 6. Gas
drum guide structure. 7. Difference in level = gas pressure in cm WC. 8. Floating scum in
the case of fibrous feed material. 9. Accumulation of thick sludge. 10. Accumulation of grit
and stones. 11. Water jacket with oil film


Simple, easily understood operation, constant gas pressure, volume of stored gas visible directly, few mistakes in construction. 


High construction cost of floating-drum, many steel parts liable to corrosion, resulting in short life (up to 15 years; in tropical coastal regions about five years for the drum), regular maintenance costs due to painting.
In spite of these disadvantages, floating-drum plants are always to be recommended in cases of doubt. Water-jacket plants are universally applicable and especially easy to maintain. The drum won't stick, even if the substrate has a high solids content. Floating-drums made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic and highdensity polyethylene have been used successfully, but the construction cost is higher than with steel. Floating-drums made of wire-mesh-reinforced concrete are liable to hairline cracking and are intrinsically porous. They require a gaslight, elastic internal coating. PVC drums are unsuitable because not resistant to UV. The floating gas drum can be replaced by a balloon above the digester. This reduces construction costs (channel type digester with folia), but in practice problems always arise with the attachment of the balloon at the edge. Such plants are still being tested under practical conditions.

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