In this project we started up using animal waste into clean reliable renewable energy and we install biogas cooking sources to schools and communities that rely on animals and poultry farming since they can produce a lot of animals waste
benefits of utilization of biogas from manure for small scale animal farmers, especially those in developing countries. Apart from the sanitary benefit of proper management of manure, this article highlights other benefits that can be derived from animal manure as a source of energy. Thus, encouraging these farmers to store manure from their animal farms for use, thereby changing waste to valuable resources.
Manure is the waste produced in large quantities and varies with the size of the farm, species of animals and the nutrients in the feed fed to the animals. This waste product, if not properly managed, poses a serious threat in the environment. This is because animal waste contains nitrogen and phosphorus in quantities that are harmful to human health and to aquatic animals if these nutrients meet with water bodies. To avoid environmental risk, government agencies in the developed world regulate the storage, treatment, processing, management, and land application of the manure. In the developing world, as at date, such regulations are rarely in place. Thus, animal wastes are littered all over the communities where the animals are reared, with the continuous causation of environmental hazard and societal nuisance.
The Need for Biogas
Due to other constraints, manure cannot be applied in the field immediately after it is produced. Traditionally, the manure is stored until there is an opportunity for its land application. In the interval between its production and field application, manure might be used for energy generation in digesters. The type of digester used on farms is typically determined by the manure management practices in place and the type of animal manure that is fed into the digester. Slurry and liquid manure from cattle and pigs can be used as feedstock for biogas production in digesters. Biogas recovery from animal waste may hold the key to unlocking the financial and environmental benefits of managing manure generated from livestock operations and organic wastes from food processing sectors. It also helps to reduce the greenhouse gas emission from methane (Agstar, 2011). Biogas is produced by the activities of bacteria that breaks down the biodegradable components of the manure in the absence of oxygen in an airtight chamber. The process is called anaerobic digestion.
Anaerobic digestion is the microbial fermentation of substrate in the absence of oxygen. This results in a mixture of gases comprising methane, carbon dioxide and other gases such as nitrogen and sulphur as impurities. The raw materials fed into the digester are organic materials with high moisture content. Examples of such organic materials are livestock waste (manure), food waste, residues from garden or orchard cleaning. The gas mixture produced in the biodigester is called biogas and can be used as fuel. Biogas contains 55 to 65-% methane, 30 to 35-% carbon dioxide and other gases. The proportions of the gases depend on the raw materials and other process parameters like the Hydraulic Residence Time (HRT) and temperature. Energy content of biogas is about 60% (depending on the methane content) compared to natural gas (Noorolahi et al, 2014) and can be easily adapted for use for replacement of natural gas.
Formation of the Biogas in Digester
The process of the formation of the biogas from the fed-in raw materials can be broken into four steps. The three last steps involve different species of bacteria which break down the output of the step before it into substances necessary for the final formation of biogas from the organic materials fed in the digester. The steps are as follows:
- Hydrolysis: this is the addition of water to the organic raw materials. It causes breakdown of carbohydrate to sugar and glucose and conversion of proteins into amino acids. This conversion is usually the slowest of the four steps (Vogeli et al., 2014).
- The second step is the action of bacteria which act on the acids from the first step to make them ready for the next stage of the conversion process.
- This step involves another species of bacteria which act on the substances formed in the previous stage to convert them into the forms ready for the final stage of the anaerobic process
- In this last step, methane forming bacteria convert the products of the earlier steps into biogas containing mainly methane and carbon dioxide. This final product needs to be collected and may be stored for use as energy.
ADVANTAGES OF BIOGAS
1. Biogas is Eco-Friendly
Biogas is a renewable, as well as a clean, source of energy. Gas generated through bio digestion is Biogas is a renewable, as well as a clean, source of energy. Gas generated through bio digestion is non-polluting; it actually reduces greenhouse emissions (i.e. reduces the greenhouse effect). No combustion takes place in the process, meaning there is zero emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere; therefore, using gas from waste as a form of energy is a great way to combat global warming.
Unsurprisingly, concern for the environment is a major reason why the use of biogas has become more widespread. Biogas plants significantly curb the greenhouse effect: the plants lower methane emissions by capturing this harmful gas and using it as fuel. Biogas generation helps cut reliance on the use of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal.
Another biogas advantage is that unlike other types of renewable energies, the process to create the gas is natural, not requiring energy for the generation process. In addition, the raw materials used in the production of biogas are renewable, as trees and crops will continue to grow. Manure, food scraps, and crop residue are raw materials that will always be available, which makes it a highly sustainable option.
2. Biogas Generation Reduces Soil and Water Pollution
Overflowing landfills don’t only spread foul smells- they also allow toxic liquids to drain into underground water sources.
Subsequently, another advantage of biogas is that biogas generation may improve water quality. Moreover, anaerobic digestion deactivates pathogens and parasites; thus, it’s also quite effective in reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases. Similarly, waste collection and management significantly improve in areas with biogas plants. This in turn, leads to improvements in the environment, sanitation, and hygiene.
3. Biogas Generation Produces Organic Fertilizer
The by-product of the biogas generation process is enriched organic digestate, which is a perfect supplement to, or substitute for, chemical fertilizers. The fertilizer discharge from the digester can accelerate plant growth and resilience to diseases, whereas commercial fertilizers contain chemicals that have toxic effects and can cause food poisoning, among other things.
4. It’s A Simple and Low-Cost Technology That Encourages A Circular Economy
The technology used to produce biogas is quite cheap. It is easy to set up and needs little investment when used on a small scale. Small biodigesters can be used right at home, utilizing kitchen waste and animal manure. A household system pays for itself after a while and the materials used for generation are absolutely free. The gas produced can be used directly for cooking and generation of electricity. This is what allows the cost of biogas production to be relatively low.
Farms can make use of biogas plants and waste products produced by their livestock every day. The waste products of one cow can provide enough energy to power a lightbulb for an entire day.
In large plants, biogas can also be compressed to achieve the quality of natural gas and utilized to power automobiles. Building such plants requires relatively low capital investment and creates green jobs. For instance, in India, 10 million jobs were created, mostly in rural areas, in plants and in organic waste collection.
5. Healthy Cooking Alternative For Developing Areas
Biogas generators save women and children from the daunting task of firewood collection. As a result, more time is left for cooking and cleaning. More importantly, cooking on a gas stove, instead of over an open fire, prevents the family from being exposed to smoke in the kitchen. This helps prevent deadly respiratory diseases. Sadly, 4.3 million people a year die prematurely from illnesses attributed to the household air pollution caused by the inefficient use of solid fuels for cooking.
HomeBiogas systems allow you to enjoy all the advantages of biogas production and use from home. They are easy to install, require minimal effort to use and produce clean, renewable energy and fertilizer. If you’re eager to reduce your fossil fuel dependency while safely and efficiently producing renewable energy for everyday use, find the HomeBiogas product that best fits your lifestyle!