[permaculture] biogas

Anil Bhattarai anilbhattarai at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 13:29:40 EST 2010


It is interesting to hear discussion about bio-gas. I don't know about
the situations in Haiti. Therefore, I am not commenting whether that
might be feasible or not. My home in Nepal's plain has a biogas that
has been running for the last 19 years and has been providing
uninterrupted supply of cooking gas for a family of 6-7. We have one
buffalo and the toilet is connected directly to the digester while we
have to feed the buffalo poop into it everyday. This simple technology
always amazes me. I have heard community biogas plants in different
parts of India where the community toilets supplement the animal poop.
The food waste goes mostly to feed the animal rather than directly
into the digester. I have recently read a news on Down to Earth
magazine (published by India's Centre for Science and Environment)
about a college in Maharashtra that have built a biogas plant that
produces enough for cooking in the college cafeteria.

Anil Bhattarai


On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 1:21 PM,  <permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:
> Send permaculture mailing list submissions to
>        permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
>        http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>        permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org
>
> You can reach the person managing the list at
>        permaculture-owner at lists.ibiblio.org
>
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of permaculture digest..."
>
>
> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. More on BIOGAS for household use. Attn: Jenny
>      (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>   2. Fwd: Permaculture TV - Corporations faking local  with viral
>      internet ads (Permaculture Cooperative)
>   3. Re: More on BIOGAS for household use. Attn: Jenny
>      (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 07 Feb 2010 13:27:11 -0500
> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: [permaculture] More on BIOGAS for household use. Attn: Jenny
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B6F05FF.2030908 at bellsouth.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>
> David wrote:
>
>  > On 2/5/2010 7:27 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
>
>> This is about fuel for cooking and heating water in Haiti as part of
>> relief projects helping to normalize the lives of the people there....
>> I think the humanure/methane conversion units could be quickly built
>> in an array of sites covering the country.
>>
>> 1) modified porta-potties on a large platform covering
>> 2) a large humanure collection/digestion tank(s) (drop from toilet
>> directly into tank(s)) just like an outhouse, into a pit
>> 3) gas collection apparatus/filtration unit/pump would be able to fill
>> pressurized cylinders for distribution to households...
>>
>> Invent a gas burning "rocket stove" that can burn butane, propane
>> (kinda nasty fumes) and methane.
>
> With regard to biogas, you should note that without supplementing with
> food or other material, the wastes from one person will not generate
> enough biogas to cook their own meals. This is because the feces and
> urine from one person will, on average, produce one cubic foot of biogas
> per day, which in turn is enough to run a one burner stove for about 10
> minutes. (On my stove, it takes 12-15 minutes to heat enough water for
> three large cups of coffee, and cooking rice takes about 40-50 minutes.)
>
> That means, in essence, that a community toilet facility which connects
> to a digester-- again, without supplementation with other wastes-- will
> most certainly not produce enough biogas to support pressurization of
> cylinders to distribute to anything except a small fraction of those who
> "contribute". (And it will take a good deal of the energy from the
> biogas to run the pump.) Further, it is wasteful to compress raw biogas,
> since it's about half carbon dioxide, and it is functionally impossible
> to liquefy it using low-cost pumps.
>
> Again, though, where food or other digestible wastes are added to such a
> digester, then it could produce more (and perhaps far more) biogas.
>
>
> You should also know that anaerobic digestion will not destroy some of
> the more persistent pathogens until the wastes have been allowed to
> remain anaerobic for 6 or more months. Where fresh material is mixed in,
> the clock must be restarted. Thus a community wastes digester must deal
> both with the issue of what to do with the effluent, and how to insure
> it is safe.
>
>
> Propane, on burning, does /not/ produce fumes that are any nastier or
> more dangerous than butane or methane. And finally, butane, methane and
> propane all require different-sized holes in the burner, so that one
> stove cannot be designed to efficiently burn any of the three. The issue
> of designing efficient stoves is indeed very important, but it has as
> much to do with the design of the pots that go on the stove as it does
> the stove itself. Quite good biogas stoves have been designed and are
> being sold, but I am not aware of any that have taken the step of
> designing pots that contribute to the capture of the heat produced.
>
>
>
> d.
> --
> David William House
> "The Complete Biogas Handbook" |www.completebiogas.com|
> /Vahid Biogas/, an alternative energy consultancy |www.vahidbiogas.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)
>
> http://bahai.us/
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 10:35:52 +1000
> From: Permaculture Cooperative <permaculturecoop at gmail.com>
> Subject: [permaculture] Fwd: Permaculture TV - Corporations faking
>        local   with viral internet ads
> To: pil-pc-oceania
>        <pil-pc-oceania at lists.permacultureinternational.org>,   permaculture
>        <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID:
>        <bc0835b1002071635wf318d90i7e5c38b4498167e2 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
>
>   Permaculture TV - Corporations faking local with viral internet
> ads<http://permaculture.tv>
>  <http://fusion.google.com/add?source=atgs&feedurl=http://feeds.feedburner.com/permaculture/EHmn>
> ------------------------------
>
>   - Corporations faking local with viral internet ads <#126a99a48b0920ff_1>
>   - First US corporation runs for congress, as a
> Republican<#126a99a48b0920ff_2>
>   - Open Source Food and Genetic Engineering - Michael
> Pollan<#126a99a48b0920ff_3>
>
>  Corporations faking local with viral internet
> ads<http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/permaculture/EHmn/~3/pvQJL_57UEo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email>
>
> Posted: 06 Feb 2010 11:31 PM PST
>
> *Myths of Main Street: What does it really mean to ?Go Local??, Written by
> Adam Bessi*
>
> *Rudy ? Cuban Gynecologist and American Autosalesman *? is the latest
> YouTube sensation, whose unbelievably cheesy local ad for T.D.M. Auto Sales
> out of High Point, NC hit national fame when it was featured on Leno as a
> ?Bad Ad.?
>
> [image: rudy]
>
> Rudy?s ad wasn?t designed by Rudy, but outsourced to two
> self-proclaimed ?Internetainers?,
> Rhett and Link <http://rhettandlink.com/about/>, who look as if they stepped
> straight out of a Mac ad on their highly polished website. The duo ? who
> have had a TV show, and have made web videos for Taco Bell, Hummer,
> Cadillac, and other major, multinational corporations ? appear to have a
> knack for getting millions of hits on YouTube, and to ?entertain first,
> advertise second?. In other words, Rhett and Link are professional marketing
> humorists, who produce funny content?.which also happens to really advertise
> products.
>
> *So what would these guerrilla marketers for major corporations want with
> Rudy?*
>
> While the ?Internetainers? are from North Carolina ? like Rudy ? the ad
> isn?t authentically local, by their own proud admission. Rather, Rudy?s ad
> is part of a larger ? and very successful, in terms of number of hits ? ad
> campaign sponsored not by Rudy, but by Microbilt
> Corportation<http://www.microbilt.com/>,
> who wanted a series of ?intentionally ?local? feeling commercials (complete
> with bad edits and ridiculous concepts)?.
>
> In other words, the ad is a simulation of how a local ad is ? it looks like
> one, is for an actual small business, and Rudy really is a Cuban
> Gynecologist turned car dealer. Yet, unlike a ?real? local ad, this one is
> intentionally raw and unrefined by design, like a pair of $80 ripped jeans
> from the Gap. Further, the ad appears not just for Rudy?s potential
> customers, but is designed for a national audience, to promote Microbilt ? a
> national corporation which makes its business supporting small and medium
> size businesses.
>
> And while Microbilt may encourage local business, its ad campaign vividly
> illustrates a real danger of the new ?local? zeitgeist: ?Local? is not a
> reality, but a feel, a style, not a substance.
>
> Source: Dailycensored.com<http://dailycensored.com/2010/02/06/myths-of-main-street-what-does-it-really-mean-to-?go-local?/>
>
> First US corporation runs for congress, as a
> Republican<http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/permaculture/EHmn/~3/zd0t4hAMP-M/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email>
>
> Posted: 06 Feb 2010 11:15 PM PST
>
> *First corporation runs for congress with slogan Corporations are people too
> *
>
> [image: badge_corporate_rights]<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Citizens_United>
>
> Murray Hill, Inc. is a Maryland corporation and a public relations and
> advertising firm that announced at the end of January, 2010 that it intends
> to run as a Republican for Maryland?s 8th Congressional district. The
> company?s announcement that it will run for office came after the U.S.
> Supreme Court?s landmark January, 2010 ruling in the Citizens
> United<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Citizens_United>case
> that corporations have the same political and free-speech rights as
> U.S. citizens. The company is selling mugs and T-Shirts with the political
> slogan, ?Corporations are people, too!?
>
> Source: Sourcewatch<http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Murray_Hill,_Inc.>
>
> Open Source Food and Genetic Engineering - Michael
> Pollan<http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/permaculture/EHmn/~3/HAvhWqkr_Is/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email>
>
> Posted: 06 Feb 2010 09:26 PM PST
>
> ?The real key to genetic engineering is control of intellectual property of
> the food crops that we depend on,? says author Michael Pollan of companies
> like Monsanto. He advocates an open source GE model.
>
>  Farming has become an occupation and cultural force of the past. Michael
> Pollan?s talk promoted the premise ? and hope ? that farming can become an
> occupation and force of the future. In the past century American farmers
> were given the assignment to produce lots of calories cheaply, and they did.
> They became the most productive humans on earth. A single farmer in Iowa
> could feed 150 of his neighbors. That is a true modern miracle.
>
> ?American farmers are incredibly inventive, innovative, and accomplished.
> They can do whatever we ask them, we just need to give them a new set of
> requirements.? - The Long Now Foundation
>
> Michael Pollan is the author of The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of
> Four Meals, a New York Times bestseller. His previous books include The
> Botany of Desire: A Plants-Eye View of the World (2001); A Place of My Own
> (1997); and Second Nature (1991). A contributing writer to The New York
> Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards,
> including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003 and the
> Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism. Pollan
> served for many years as executive editor of Harpers Magazine and is now the
> Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley. His
> articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing 2004, Best
> American Essays 2003, and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. He lives in the
> San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their
> son, Isaac.
>
>   You are subscribed to email updates from Permaculture.TV free video
> cooperative <http://permaculture.tv>
> To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe
> now<http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailunsubscribe?k=WWJ_UuIEUkFR2iTClNfc3f1kwJg>
> . Email delivery powered by Google  Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL
> USA 60610
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 07 Feb 2010 22:11:08 -0500
> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] More on BIOGAS for household use. Attn:
>        Jenny
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B6F80CC.1050900 at bellsouth.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>
>
>
> David wrote:
>
>> With regard to biogas, you should note that without supplementing with
>> food or other material, the wastes from one person will not generate
>> enough biogas to cook their own meals. This is because the feces and
>> urine from one person will, on average, produce one cubic foot of biogas
>> per day, which in turn is enough to run a one burner stove for about 10
>> minutes. (On my stove, it takes 12-15 minutes to heat enough water for
>> three large cups of coffee, and cooking rice takes about 40-50 minutes.)
>
> Well, the composted humanure, finished aerobically 6 months or perhaps
> sooner, aerobically, could be used to grow cover crops that could
> provide the needed additional C & N to make acceptable quantities of
> biogas. Other scenarios might include:
> 1) Jumpstart the process with immediate addition of vegetable matter to
> the humanure, then, after that batch has produced all the biogas that it
> will, remove the biomass/humanure, at a measured rate, to a water
> impoundment and grow duckweed in the mix, to be regularly harvested to
> provide the biomass needed for future biogas batches. Duckweed will do
> the job ad can actually grow in slurry containing raw sewage. I have
> learned this from a duckweed researcher at NCSU who sells produce at the
> same farmers market that I do. The duckweed genome is to be sequenced
> and varieties will be genetically engineered for oil content. Duckweed
> for biofuel production. Duckweed is amazing, cold hardy too. I have it
> growing in the three ponds that collect all runoff from all my farm
> fields and gardens; I will harvest the duckweed to use as fertilizer
> (if you dry it in an open covered shed it becomes granular, convenient
> for distribution over gardens).
> 2) The duckweed ponds could provide clean irrigation water for food
> gardens, orchards and various fruit and nut field crops and coppice
> orchards for rocket stove wood fuel.
>
>> That means, in essence, that a community toilet facility which connects
>> to a digester-- again, without supplementation with other wastes-- will
>> most certainly not produce enough biogas to support pressurization of
>> cylinders to distribute to anything except a small fraction of those who
>> "contribute". (And it will take a good deal of the energy from the
>> biogas to run the pump.) Further, it is wasteful to compress raw biogas,
>> since it's about half carbon dioxide, and it is functionally impossible
>> to liquefy it using low-cost pumps.
>
> Got it. The digester designs I have seen on the web include direct
> piping to the end user's houses. There is a good case for community
> kitchens that use biogas also; efficient use of resources and manpower.
>
>> Again, though, where food or other digestible wastes are added to such a
>> digester, then it could produce more (and perhaps far more) biogas.
>
> It would be interesting to know exactly what types of plant material
> work best for this application (I assume duckweed would be ideal, and
> there are many varieties to pick from, some for human consumption, some
> for ivestock, some for biofuel and maybe some for adding to humanure for
> biogas production). Also it would be good to know the proportions of
> humanure to biomass for optimal biogas generation.
>
>> You should also know that anaerobic digestion will not destroy some of
>> the more persistent pathogens until the wastes have been allowed to
>> remain anaerobic for 6 or more months. Where fresh material is mixed in,
>> the clock must be restarted. Thus a community wastes digester must deal
>> both with the issue of what to do with the effluent, and how to insure
>> it is safe.
>
> It can be aerobically composted too, if the digester equipment design allows
> convenient removal of the slurry; of course it could be pumped. Also
> knowing the proportions of water to humanure/biomass in the digester
> would be useful.
>
>> Propane, on burning, does /not/ produce fumes that are any nastier or
>> more dangerous than butane or methane. And finally, butane, methane and
>
> That's good to know.
>
>> propane all require different-sized holes in the burner, so that one
>> stove cannot be designed to efficiently burn any of the three. The issue
>> of designing efficient stoves is indeed very important, but it has as
>> much to do with the design of the pots that go on the stove as it does
>> the stove itself. Quite good biogas stoves have been designed and are
>> being sold, but I am not aware of any that have taken the step of
>> designing pots that contribute to the capture of the heat produced.
>
> Do you have links to sites offering these types of biogas stoves?
> Of course, Google will provide, as always.
> I would think that some sort of biogas stove and collection of pots
> designed to work together for maximum efficiency would be the best route
> to follow. I think that the basic rocket stove design could be adapted
> to similar stoves using biogas as fuel, with all necessary additional
> safety features added.
>
> Thanks for the interesting information you've provided. Great food for
> thought.
>
> Cheers,
>
> LL
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>
>
> End of permaculture Digest, Vol 85, Issue 12
> ********************************************
>



-- 
Anil Bhattarai
Programme in Planning
University of Toronto
www.ajamvarifarm.org
http://www.zmag.org/zspace/anilbhattarai
www.nyayahealth.org



More information about the permaculture mailing list