Creation of a Biodigester (I)
RAPHAËL SOWEIF, UNIVERSITÉ de SHERBROOKE, Canada,
Currently, trying to reduce one’s ecological footprint has become a social reality, and research about clean energy production and sustainable energy is an important challenge.
Biomethanation is a natural gas production phenomenon. It turns out to be an excellent alternative to generate this type of energy. The biomethanization process is not a universal solution, because the phenomenon requires very particular climatic conditions to be operational. The southern areas of Argentina offer these conditions, thus allowing us to install a biodigester.
A biodigester is used to speed up the biomethanization process and to collect the methane produced by anaerobic digestion. It uses organic waste, as animal and human manure, industrial and domestic organic waste and water. These residues are trapped in the biodigester tank and are anaerobically biodegraded. The methane emitted by the biodigester is an excellent combustible to be used for cooling and heating systems. The gas can also be used to produce electricity through the use of a combustion engine connected to an alternator. Moreover, the residue produced by the biodigester can be used as a high quality fertilizer.
To build a biodigester in a farm of La Plata’s region is an excellent opportunity to measure the social and environmental positive impacts of such an installation. It enables the production of clean energy, especially for remote places.
The building of a biodigester is an engineering challenge and requires the use of a safe methodology. The implementation of the biodigester is led by the trainee Raphaël Soweif, mechanical engineering student from the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada. He is currently improving an existing biodigester built by previous students. The goal is first to put the biodigester in use by installing an airtight and waterproof overlaying. Security standards must be respected during the whole process. The last step is to proceed to the installation of the gas outlet and the gas storage system.