[Digestion] Biogas from Begonia, Chrysanthemum and Poinsettia

David House david at h4c.org
Mon Aug 18 14:19:08 CDT 2014


On 8/18/2014 11:14 AM, Vianney Tumwesige wrote:
> Dear All,
> I recently visited a floriculture farm which produces about ten 
> different crops on the farm, however, there are three main crops i.e. 
> poinsettia, begonia and chrysanthemum.
> These 3 crops generate about 2 tons of waste per week, though other 
> crops have a small waste content. I have attached pictures of the 
> generated waste. The idea is to produce biogas from this waste. I have 
> not dealt with floriculture waste, I will be glad to get your advise.

A great deal will depend on what chemicals are used in the facility. 
Pesticides and other biocides, for the most part, suppress or prevent 
anaerobic digestion. As well, given that much of the residue will be 
"woody", some means of shredding or chopping the waste may be necessary 
to reduce particle size.

The specifics of biogas production using the plants listed might be 
illuminated from the literature, but so many things vary that such 
information may end up being both helpful and misleading. For example, 
the lignification of the wastes will be a function of the time of 
harvest, and that will likely vary among situations. For these and many 
other reasons, any commercial biogas enterprise which does not use 
deeply studied substrates such as cow manure should plan to do batch 
studies as part of a first draft analysis. Be sure to study the plants 
separately as well as together.

That said, some information is available. For example, there is a paper 
which purports to be about the digestion of floriculture residues-- " 
Potential of Floriculture Residue for Biogas Production," available from 
but as far as I can recall, it does not define the mix of species 
encountered. However, the paper does have a generic description of the 
studies done to determine the BMP and other characteristics of that 
waste, which may be of assistance to you in considering your approach. 
There appears to be a lot of activity in Kenya around floriculture and 
biogas (see for example 
http://www.akut-umwelt.de/bin/news/AKUT-Project-cases-in-Kenya.pdf, or 

I might also mention that of the three plants you mention, I would feel 
confident that chrysanthemum would digest well, as it is an edible 
plant. I would also suggest that, if possible, you begin feeding the 
residues to cows, both to see which they prefer, and to assist in the 
process of developing a suitable inoculum.

David William House
"The Complete Biogas Handbook" |www.completebiogas.com|

"Make no search for water. But find thirst,
And water from the very ground will burst."
(Rumi, a Persian mystic poet, quoted in /Delight of Hearts/, p. 77)

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