NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – The world is currently grappling with drastic effects of climate change, an emotive topic even among global leaders.
Did you know there is something you can do about it?
In Kenya, a local firm is doing something that if adopted by all the 45 million residents, things might change – and maybe we go back to old days when weather patterns were predictable.
Welcome to Biogas International Limited, a Karen based firm, making use of crop waste to generate clean energy.
Capital FM News crew embarked on a fact-finding mission, with hope to understand how the firm operates, its impact to the environment and the economic sense … is it rewarding?
We also sought to establish the technology used to make bio-gas and their clientele.
It needs no introduction to know something good is cooking upon entry of the farm, located deep inside the leafy suburb. And yes, there is something more being generated there – fertilizer.
The firm’s manager Josephat Chege, explains their source for raw materials:
“When you talk about biogas, people think about cows and 90 per cent of the population disqualify themselves from the production of Biogas since they do not understand that you actually do not need a cow to make bio-gas,” he said.
“For us we specifically use banana, oranges, and avocado peels to get two products; bio-gas and fertilizer,” he added. A few metres from the gate, one can spot a greenhouse pimped environment.
Chege walked us through where all the magic happens in producing the gas and fertilizer that is later used in the farm and in different activities in the houses that would need electricity.
“We incorporated a greenhouse environment around our bio-gas digester where the warmer the system is the more efficient it becomes,” he said. The biogas digester system is said to work as a human being’s stomach where the system is fed and takes a couple of hours to undergo digestion where it emits fertilizer and the gas.
“The biogas digester works just as our digestive system where it gives very rich organic fertilizer at the end compared which cow dung production cannot match the production,” he explained.
Since its beginning, Biogas International has installed hundreds of Flexi Biogas systems and has changed the lives of many individuals who initially spent hours either looking for firewood or having to pay electricity at a high cost.
The organization sells the Standard Unit at Sh70,000 at a domestic level and the extra-large level at Sh85,000. “The standard model does very well for cooking and the extra-large is designed for an entrepreneur,” Chege explained.
It has installed the system in schools, lodges, and children’s homes and saving the environment since users recycle waste instead of burning charcoal or cutting down trees for wood.
“We have seen schools around Karen use this system and recently we sold it to the Tuskys Supermarket outlet based in Karen,” he narrated.
The system has been tested by the India Institute of Technology, which said it was a unique and easily adaptable technology.
If the Flexi Bio-gas system is installed in schools, hotels, or large institutions, human waste can be used to generate bio-gas, leaving the waste sterile of any disease-causing organism and reducing the risk of communicable diseases.