Testing the market for biogas in (B)packs and creating evidence of the business potential! A pilot project by HoA-REC/N, Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network, Addis Abeba University.
Biogas produced from cow dung and sold in backpacks in the middle of a busy street of country town Arsinegele in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia, about 280 km south of Addis Abeba, is possible! Where firewood and charcoal are rare, they become expensive and sometimes no longer affordable. People found out that biogas can be a viable alternative for households and businesses.
2 (B)plants of the sizes 3.5 and 4 m³ are producing the daily gas for sale in (B)packs. Cow dung is plentifully available in Arsinegele, thus the biogas manager has no trouble to organize input substrate for the digesters. The biogas produced by the two digesters is directly piped to the (B)pack fill-up station. 3 backpacks are permanently connected and they fill up with biogas as it is produced.
4 fully inflated (B)packs per day can no longer serve the continuously growing number of customers. But it means that the business is going well for the gas producer: she sells 4 full backpacks per day at 10 Ethiopian Birr each. This makes an income of 40 birr (1,50 €) per day from waste, while her customers save cash money and distant trees from being cut down.
From the dung of one goat and kitchen waste mixed with all kinds of waste water the small 1.5 m³ biogas digester produces reliably enough gas to replace all cooking fuel for up to 3 people. This test digester is deliberately run under suboptimal conditions to find out the limits of this technology – so far the conditions could not be chosen hard enough…
and the slurry used as organic fertilizer makes vegetable production in the city garden a real pleasure!
This school in rural Rwanda has installed the first biogas system of (B)energy after a teacher had taken the 3-day training in Germany.
This school is organized in an amazing way: the school fee is paid by parents and children by bringing brass and leaves for the animals to eat. the school has cows, sheep, rabbits and pigs and they all need fodder. The dung of these animals is used for biogas production.
Animals and Kitchen are far apart, but the gas is filled into a backpack and transported to the school kitchen, where food for about 60 children is cooked at night on biogas. Well done!
This school in Malawi is using cow dung and kitchen waste to produce 5-6 biogas backpacks full of gas per day. This gas is sufficient to cook for 60 children, who eat at the school.
Besides the easier and much cleaner cooking, the school is very happy about the savings: 11€/week as compared to using fire wood!
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