• General consulting for your renewable energy queries
• Feasibility study of anaerobic digestion systems
• Customized technical design
• Construction of biogas plants
• Test and start-up of the facility
• Operation and maintenance support
WHAT IS BIOGAS?
Biogas, or Anaerobic Digestion, is the production of methane gas, an incredibly rich source of energy, through the breakdown of organic waste in an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment.
The beauty of this is a double whammy: (1.) waste from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste is being managed while (2). a clean, efficient source of energy is being produced at the same time. Perfect!
But wait… there’s more!
The by-product left over once the methane has been produced from the raw materials, is a nutrient-rich slurry i.e. a liquid fertiliser that when re-introduced to the soil, boosts crop growth (in some cases, helps to grow the very same plant food that feeds an anaerobic digester). This closes the nutrient cycle. Furthermore, this slurry can be ‘cleaned’ by passing it through algae tanks, simple reed bed filters or naturally occurring wetlands to reclaim the water that was used in the process.
So, Anaerobic Digestion/Biogas is a renewable energy source with excellent advantages:
1. Processes and breaks down waste products
2. Produces a clean, efficient energy source – methane
3. Produces rich fertilisers for crop production
4. Recycles clean water in the process
While South Africa is struggling desperately to meet its energy requirements, it is unthinkable that biogas has received so little attention here, considering that it has the potential to displace up to 2,500 MW of grid electricity in the country. Let’s harness all the sewage plants in our towns and cities to produce electricity! Why Not?
India has 12 million biogas digesters. China has 17 million. Germany commissions a new commercial digester every eight hours and has an installed capacity of over 9,600 MW.
By comparison, South Africa an estimated 200 biogas digesters, mostly small domestic units and a few NGO driven initiatives!
It is crucial that South Africa (and Africa as a whole) needs to re-focus urgently with regard to future energy production – fossil fuels are being rapidly depleted and the resources are finite. Biogas provides a solution that is able to assuage so many of South Africa’s current service delivery needs through energy production, waste management, food security and water conservation. Not to mention a local solution to the world depletion of fossil fuels as well as atmospheric carbon reduction.