I find myself getting deeper into the shit. I’m not sure how it happened but I have become interested in biogas collectors. This is a device used to collect the biogas (mostly methane) which is emitted when biological waste is digested by bacteria.
The biogas once collected can be burned to provide cooking, lighting and carbon credits. The chemistry of burning methane in the presence of oxygen is that it produces water and CO2. Carbon dioxide is a less potent greenhouse gas than methane so that’s how we can earn carbon credits.
The waste I refer to is usually faecal but food and vegetable leftovers work too. In order of quantity of biogas per unit mass of waste; human and pig waste has the most potential, closely followed by chickens and with ruminant animals such as cows and horses bringing up the rear!
Large animals however, have the advantage of producing larger volumes of waste. The problem with this can be collecting it and putting it in the digester. I have heard of a cunning scheme where children earn pocket money by roaming the fields with a shovel looking for fuel for their village biogas collector.
Arkitrek is working with Camps International to build a demonstration biogas collector at a longhouse near Kudat in northern Sabah.
Camps International is a holiday company specialising in the gap year and ‘life experience’ market. The Kampung Tinangol Longhouse will be their first destination in Borneo and the beginning of a long term partnership which has been brokered by local NGO Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS).
The biogas demonstration project will be built by the first batch of guests to arrive in January 2009. The objective is to prove the viability of the idea, refine the design and build capacity with the hosts.
If the design is successful, future guests at the longhouse will find themselves building biogas collectors throughout the local community.
Update: 16th March 2011
Note that we have yet to get our digesters operational due to workmanship issues. They are leaking, first water and now gas. We are working on the problem and will update you as soon as we can. There is more detailed information on the problem here.
Drawings of our Mark II biogas digester are available to download here.
We will probably move over to a floating gas holder in our Mark III design. something similar to this