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Mixed wastes biogas

Biomass source is a diffuse source of energy. Photosynthesis is the most effective route to convert solar energy into biomass source, while biomass source is the most convenient form to store solar energy. For this reason, energy from biomass sources is now considered as having the potential to provide the major portion of the projected renewable energy needs of the future. However, the extent to which this can be realized depends on scientific, technological, economic, and political factors. One of the technological innovations by which the stored solar energy in biomass sources can be harnessed is through the use of biomass sources in the production of biogas. This is illustrated by the diagram below;

Biogas production by biodigestion of biomass source residues, in combination with other technologies, can help in partially replacing fossil fuel-derived energy and thereby in reducing environmental impact by providing a clean and diffused fuel from renewable feedstock. In some EU countries, such as Italy, Austria, and Germany, substrate supply is often achieved by dedicated energy crops (ECs), such as cereals and maize. 

What is a bio-gas digester and how does it work?

  • Mixed residue bio-gas digesters collect waste  in an underground tank.  Catalysts break down the waste within the tank by digestion, which releases a mix of gases, mostly methane.  The gas rises and collects in a domed ceiling where it builds pressure.  A valve and a hose attached it to the top of the tank, allowing it to be piped directly into the house where it is connected to a gas-burning stove or to other utilities.  The gas does not smell (like many might suspect) and does not make smoke. 
  • When the tank reaches capacity, excess effluent that has already undergone digestion (“slurry”) is pushed out of the tank by natural pressure, through an overflow pipe and into a holding bin (displacement tank), where organic waste like leaves, grass or rice husks can be added to create high-quality fertilizer and mulch.

The benefits of Agricultural residues biogas production are;

  • For farmers, every agro-industrial system produces a wide variety of organic feedstock residues, such as lignocellulosic materials, crop residues, vegetable oils, animal fats, protein-rich waste, pre-digested wastewater sludges, animal slurries and manures, waste paper, household waste, etc., as by-products. Bio-digestion of a variety of residual biomasses may be a good integrated solution, particularly with wastes that are unsuitable for direct disposal on land. Thus, the disposal problem of such waste materials and the problem of improving the quality of soils can simultaneously be solved in an environment-friendly way, through a continuous control of digestates after biodigestion. The exploitation of this potential diffused-energy source provides a good opportunity for new-generation biogas plants
  • Reduced smoke inside kitchen and enhanced health by improving sanitation, hygiene, living condition
  • Mitigating climate change
  • Increased yield by using bio-fertilizer
  • Improved soil quality by using bio-slurry
  • Reduced pressure on forests
  • Reduced work load for women and children – enhance education opportunities and cultural knowledge
  • Provision of skill enhancement and employment for rural areas


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P.O.BOX 8620-00200, Nairobi
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