An updated version of a biogas digester has been designed to allow individual households to produce their own gas for cooking.
As the interest in reducing waste and carbon use continuously increases, we have seen a number of innovations in areas such as wind and solar power for the home. An updated innovation now holds out the promise of allowing households to generate their own biogas. Biogas is made up of several gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide, which are produced by the decomposition of organic matter in an environment absent of oxygen. Yair Teller, co-founder of HomeBiogas, first came across biogas being used in an off-grid community in India. Impressed, he teamed up with a friend to design and test several prototypes for a simpler biogas system. They eventually came up with an affordable, DIY biogas system designed for home use. The system converts organic waste into clean cooking gas and high-quality liquid fertilizer for the garden. First released in 2016, an updated version is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
The HomeBiogas kit can be assembled at home in just a few hours. It is activated with animal manure or a bacteria starter kit to create a healthy colony of bacteria. After this, users simply toss food scraps into the system each day. To use the gas for cooking, users will also need to plumb the system into a stove. Around 1 kilograms (2.2 pounds) of food waste is enough to produce 200 litres (7 cubic feet) of gas – enough for around 1-3 hours of cooking over a high flame. In one year, the HomeBiogas unit will allow an average family to eliminate one ton of organic waste, reducing harmful emissions by the equivalent of six tons of carbon dioxide.
Although measuring just 48 inches x65 inches x39.4 inches, and weighing less than 88 pounds, buyers will need some outdoor space in which to place it, as well as a fair amount of sunlight for the system to work properly. Nonetheless, this is a relatively easy way for many people to reduce their carbon footprint. What other ways could a small biodigester be used to reduce carbon usage?