[Digestion] Rural biogas

Anand Karve adkarve at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 23:44:44 MDT 2014

Dear Mr. Shreshtha,
1. Rural biogas plants were formerly designed to use cattle dung. With
increasing mechanisation in agriculture, the number of cattle is dwindling.
Therefore there is a shortage of dung in many areas.One can produce biogas
from green leaves. Using our biogas design, one can produce about 100
litres biogas per kg green leaves. A household can grow a plot of leafy
plants next to the house. The household waste water irrigates this plot.
2. A community biogas plant is not a very good idea. A house next to the
biogas plant gets the gas under high pressure while a house away from the
biogas plant gets it at low pressure. Also, somebody who starts cooking
early in the morning may use more gas so that households that start cooking
late don't get enough biogas. You would need a special delivery
system geared to provide equal quantity of biogas under equal pressure to
all households. That can add substantially to the capital cost of the
project. You can instead give small biogas plants to each household. If you
are using green leaves as feedstock, a small family can do with a biogas
plant having digester capacity of 1 cubic meters. A large family may need
digester capacity of two cubic meters. We found that the total hardware
cost is in fact lower, if each household gets a separate biogas plant to
satisy its own requirement. The operater of the system can still make money
by providing each household daily with adequate quantity of macerated green
leaves and by servicing the biogas plants. The midribs and veins of the
leaves remain in the digester as undigested debris. One of the tasks of
the operator is to removes the undigested debris from the biogas plants.
Our biogas plants are above-ground installations and a drain valve fittet
at the base of the digester is opened to remove the undigested debris. This
does not interfere with the process of biogas production.

On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 11:24 AM, Rabin Shrestha <rshrestha at winrock.org.np>wrote:

>  Hello,
> I need some help regarding the promotion of biogas in rural areas. As of
> now, in rural areas biogas plants are installed in individual households
> but now we are thinking of promoting single (big) biogas plants for a group
> of households ( it could be 10 or more households). This biogas plants will
> be run by an individual person or LFIs ( any entrepreneur) then they will
> sell gas to households.
> So I want some information, if this kind of model has been used in any
> other place. If you can provide any related information then I will be
> really thankful. I also want to know if this is feasible or not ?
> Regards,
> Rabin
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> for more information about digestion, see
> Beginner's Guide to Biogas
> http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/
> and the Biogas Wiki http://biogas.wikispaces.com/

Dr. A.D. Karve
Trustee & Founder President, Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)
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