Meeting sanitation and energy needs with Biogas

So is it possible to feed a biogas digester with human waste? Yes it is. The problem however is getting enough of it into the digester. The traditional answer to this has been to build latrine stances which feed, by gravity, directly into the digester

Wantokism

So we’ve been doing some investigation into installing biogas into schools which are using huge amounts of firewood for their cooking needs. These are BIG institutions! We’re talking upwards of 1500 boarding students!

There are a lot of challenges with biogas even at a small scale. Most notably for me the pure amount of unsavoury work it takes to feed the beast! The calculations say that about 60% of fuel needs can be met by Biogas…best case.

These schools happen to have a huge problem with sanitation as well. With no water borne sewage they rely on pit latrines. The maintenance of these systems (either digging new ones, or emptying them) imparts another financial cost of the schools. Not to mention the possible damage to the ground water system! In the area we are working there is no ‘honey sucker’ truck to dispose of human waste…it’s dumped on site, in…

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FROM WASTE TO ENERGY

Sweden sends just 1% of its residential solid waste to the landfill, recycling 50% and thermally processing 49% for heat and power generation in their WTE plants (waste to energy).

Planet Earth Weekly

wast managemet sweeden

By Lin Smith

August 11, 2013–Sweden, a country of 9 million people, is one of our planet’s leaders in creating a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their goal is to achieve a completely oil free economy by 2020, replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives before “climate change undermines national economies worldwide and diminishing oil supplies force astronomical price increases.” Their renewable alternative–turning trash into power! Although at the present time Sweden relies on other forms of energy, burning of garbage accounts for an equivalent of 810,000 homes being heated and the electrical equivalent of 250,000 homes being powered. The waste to energy plants are burning garbage faster than Swedes can produce it, so their solution? Import garbage from Norway!

Sweden sends just 1% of its residential solid waste to the landfill, recycling 50% and thermally processing 49% for heat and power generation in their WTE plants…

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Plastic, Waste decay and Recycling.

Plastics and other man-made products take longer to decompose than the natural occurring compounds. Let us find creative and innovative ways to re-use, reduce and recycle our waste. Organics such as banana peel and apple core can be decay and used in the production of Biomass energy, such as Biogas and also as manure for the soil.

The Leafy Agenda

In my country, we call waste “taka” or “taka taka”.

Poor waste management is rampant and it results in extensive dump-sites the height of anthills; some extending on large tracts of land. This waste continuously pollutes both water and food sources,and this untreated water is used for human consumption through drinking, cooking and also in Agriculture, to irrigate the crops on the fertile Kenyan soil . At the source, there  tends to be little or no segregation of waste hence all types of waste are combined at the dump-sites. This in turn impedes proper disposal and recycling of waste in the municipalities.

Food safety concerns are high with food and waterborne illnesses such as Cholera, typhoid and Dysentery infections thriving excellently in polluted water. Data from the PLOS Medicine Journal indicates Diarrhea, which is defined as passing three or more loose or liquid stools per day, kills roughly 1.5 million…

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Principles of Waste Management

Waste management is fundamentally how rubbish and waste is disposed of without causing any harm to others or the surroundings. There are various aspects to waste management; these include observation, collection, transportation, processing, and disposal or recycling.

Biogas potential in Pakistan

There are 30,000 large farms in Pakistan employing more than 50 cattle and 18000 farms rearing 200 cattle per farm on the average. Large Farms and cattle owners can produce electricity for others and sell it to the grid. A farm having 1000 cattle can generate 0.5 MW of electricity and a farm of 2000 cattle can generate 1 MW. One can reasonably assume that 1000 such farms can be marshaled to provide atleast 1000 MW, against a total potential of 3800 MW.

Agriculture Information Bank

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Table: Biogas Potential in Pakistan

====================================================

No of Livestock=56.9 Million

Live stock Biomass generation=1 Mn Tons/day

Number of Large Dairy Farms=30,000 (avg 200 Cattles)

MSW =55000 tons/day

Crop residue= 225000 tons/day

Annual Biogas (Bio-methane) potential=1.6 TCF/yr

Pakistan Ngas Production=1.4 TCF/yr

Existing Short Fall= 1 TCF/yr

CNG consumption=0.164 TCF/yr

LNG projects =0.146 TCF/yr (25 Billion USD imports)

OR Electricity Potential from Biogas =3800 MW

—————————————————-

Source: Author’s Estimates

=============================
DAIRY FARM HERD SIZE AND BIOGAS & ELECTRICITY OUTPUT
========================================================
No  of animals    Gas out put   Tot.Gas   Tot.Electr    Power    Profit
number            CM/animal/d   Mbtu/yr     kWh/yr       KW       Rs/yr
========================================================
5000                  2.4       147000     14700000     2940   14700000
3000                  2.4        88200      8820000     1764    8820000
2000                  2.4        58800      5880000     1176    5880000
1000                  2.4        29400      2940000      588    2940000
500                   2.4        14700      1470000      294    1470000
200                   2.4        5880       588000      117.6    588000
======================================================

Source: http://www.brecorder.com

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Waste-to-Energy in a Dairy Farm

The farm is now turning the extra manure into fuel for its delivery trucks, powering 42 tractor-trailers that make daily runs to raw milk processing plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Eideard

Here at one of the largest dairy farms in the country, electricity generated using an endless supply of manure runs the equipment to milk around 30,000 cows three times a day.

For years, the farm has used livestock waste to create enough natural gas to power 10 barns, a cheese factory, a cafe, a gift shop and a maze of child-friendly exhibits about the world of dairy, including a 3D movie theater.

All that, and Fair Oaks Farms was still using only about half of the five million pounds of cow manure it vacuumed up from its barn floors on a daily basis. It burned off the excess methane, wasted energy sacrificed to the sky.

But not anymore.

The farm is now turning the extra manure into fuel for its delivery trucks, powering 42 tractor-trailers that make daily runs to raw milk processing plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Officials…

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Basics of Biogas Technology

All the nine users of the flexible balloon digesters appreciate the technology because of the various advantages it has over using firewood. However, more efforts need to be geared at educating and sensitizing the masses about biogas technology and how to adapt to maintenance demands of the system.

Environment and the Plasma Gasification of Garbage

The Discordant

I wanted to bring to your attention a very interesting article that I read on the New York Times. The link is: Garbage Plasma Gasification.

It was a while ago when I read it, but didn’t have time to write about it! So here it is:

The first thing I saw was the word “Garbage”… I didn’t really give much attention to it because even though it is something really important, and that people should be aware of, I already know what most articles usually say about it. Things like: “Oh, the toxins from incinerating the garbage are bad”, “We have to start disposing of medical/toxic garbage in safe places”, “Soon there will be a shortage of places where to dump garbage and it will have to be thrown into space” or “Everyone should recycle because it will help the world by producing less waste and save money”.  These are all…

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Waste Management in Stockholm

Misc. on land use planning (with a bias on Copenhagen)

I just came across an article in “City, Culture and Society”, dealing with Urban growth and waste management optimization in Stockholm and Adelaide. In Figure 2 in the results section the authors show a comparison of waste management systems in the two cities. However, for Stockholm they present only national data, assuming that this is also representative for the capital. Well, that striked me a bit because I am working with city data quite a lot and was wondering if there isn’t better data out there. In the database Urban Audit, maintained by Eurostat, you can find data for over 300 cities in Europe to a lot of different issues. Stockholm is one of the cities covered and waste data from 2008 was available, so I produced the graph below – in the same style as done in the mentioned article.

If you have access to the article

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Waste to Energy for India

Melting Coal

Urban India produces 55 million tones of municipal solid waste and 38 billion litres of sewage annually. Further, large amounts of waste are produced by industries.

Waste generation in India is growing at a very fast pace and is expected to rise rapidly in the future. This has mainly been due to industrialization, increase in living standards and urbanization. This waste needs to be contained.  The most profitable and feasible option is conversion of this waste to energy. Advancement in conversion technologies has made it easier to undergo this process thereby minimizing waste and utilizing its energy potential.

Waste to Energy India Scenario

According to the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) 2010-11 annual report, there exists a potential of 3600 MW from urban and industrial waste. MNRE is actively promoting the generation of energy from waste by providing incentives and subsidies. Estimates from the Indian renewable energy development…

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Plasma Gasification

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Clean Energy Diary

The World Bank development indicators 2008 shows that the wealthiest 20% of the world accounts for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%.The report further states,

“Today’s consumption is undermining the environmental resource base. It is exacerbating inequalities. And the dynamics of the consumption-poverty-inequality-environment nexus are accelerating. If the trends continue without change — not redistributing from high-income to low-income consumers, not shifting from polluting to cleaner goods and production technologies, not promoting goods that empower poor producers, not shifting priority from consumption for conspicuous display to meeting basic needs — today’s problems of consumption and human development will worsen. The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects. Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%. More specifically, the richest…

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