Urban residents, who can access at least 20kg garbage per day, can save more than Sh1,500 per month spent on cooking gas and electricity by installing the new ‘greenhouse’ digester that breaks down any organic waste besides cow dung to release biogas.
Currently, farmers majorly rely on biogas from cow-dung, therefore, those without livestock use commercial gas and power from the national grid for heating, lighting, and other power applications.
The biodigester from Biogas International Limited, also called the greenhouse, is not selective. It can be fed with any organic matter, including weeds kitchen waste, market garbage, among other to produce biogas.
“It does not matter the type of organic matter you feed into the digester. Anything organic can be broken down to release cooking gas or electricity,” Richard Ondiek, of Flexi Biogas Technology said.
The digester requires only 20kg or organic waste per day to release about two cubic mitres of biogas. For every 20kg of waste, 20 litres of water are required. In the case of using weeds, they have to be chopped into pieces of less than three centimetres.
Damackline Kemunto, a Nairobi resident, with a family of five spends about Sh950 on cooking gas, and Sh500 to Sh600 on charcoal per month. The power bill ranges from Sh350 to Sh500 per month. Such an installation can save her close to Sh2,000 per month.
Green waste is common in most markets and groceries. Actually, disposing organic waste is a challenge in major counties including Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. Tonnes of green waste are loaded weekly from Nairobi’s Wakulima Market for disposal at Dandora dumpsite. Outskirt markets such as Ongata Rongai’s Kware, Kayole’s Soweto, Kangemi, among others remain suppressed by the garbage.
Hotels too with waste foods can benefit from this digester that can give them both heating and lighting energy.
Although the digester can still run on animal excrement including droppings from poultry, rabbits, pigs, goats, and so on, the first one tonnne after installation must be cow-dung.
Cow-dung is rich in digestion microbes, which establish a colony in the envelope-like tube for continuous recycling of the matter into energy.
The envelope is laid in a shallow basin-like tunnel. A greenhouse like polythene is wrapped on top, but it is raised to about one metre to allow for expansion during decomposition.
After digestion, the slurry does not smell at all. It can be disposed safely after getting out through the rear end.
As new waste is fed, the older one keeps getting out at the end of the about 10feet long structure.
The envelope can last for 10 years and can be uninstalled and be installed in another place, if the owner moves.
Flexi Biogas Technology also customizes the gas to meet various uses including chicks brooding, heating up showers, cooking, cooling machines like fridges, incubators, among others.
It costs Sh61,000 to install.
PHOTO: Flexi Biogas Technology’s Richard Ondiek explains how the greenhouse digester works to farmers during the Nairobi International Agricultural Society of Kenya trade fair at the Jamhuri Show Ground on October 7, 2016. The digester breaks any organic matter into gas. BY LABAN ROBERT.
Ondiek can be reached on +254724971553