Direct Use of Biogas

Compiled by:
Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Niels Sacher (Xavier University), Maria Isabel R. Dumlao (Xavier University), Robert Gensch (Xavier University)
Adapted from:
TILLEY, E.; ULRICH, L.; LUETHI, C.; REYMOND, P.; ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014)

Executive Summary

Biogas is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide and other trace gasses. In principal, biogas can be used like other fuel gas. When produced in household-level biogas reactors, it is most suitable for cooking or lightening. Additionally, electricity generation is a valuable option with the biogas produced in large anaerobic digesters.

In Out

Biogas

Food Products, Energy

Introduction

 TILLEY et al. (2014)

Schematic of direct use of biogas. Source: TILLEY et al. (2014)

Biogas can be produced at household level or at large-scale by anaerobic digestion of organic material, usually animal dung, human excreta and crop residue (see also anaerobic digestion). Small-scale biogas reactors (see also small-scale anaerobic digestion, biogas settlers, anaerobic baffled reactors, UASB reactors, digestion of organic wastes e.g. from kitchen, etc.) can provide a cheap and sustainable source of fuel for lighting, cooling, cooking or electricity. The produced biogas fuel can either be used directly (what this factsheet is about) or it can be transformed into electricity (see also the conversion of biogas to electricity at large or small scale).

   PBPO (2006)

Running a gas lamp from biogas, Vietnam. Source: PBPO (2006)

Household energy demand varies greatly and is influenced by cooking and eating habits (i.e., hard grains and maize may require substantial cooking times, and, therefore, more energy compared to cooking fresh vegetables and meat).

Biogas is a mixture essentially comprising mostly methane (CH4, around 55-75%) but also contains carbon dioxide (CO2), around 25-30%), varying quantities of water (H2O) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Other compounds can also be found, especially in waste dump biogas: ammonia (NH3), hydrogen (H2), nitrogen (N2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Methane is the valuable component under the aspect of using biogas fuel. Biogas has an average methane content of 55-75%, which implies an energy content of 6-6.5 kWh/m3


Design Considerations

The (thermal) energy available from the methane contained in biogas is about 6 to 8 kWh/m3. This corresponds to half a litre of diesel oil and 5.5 kg of firewood. Gas demand can be defined on the basis of energy previously consumed. For example, for a family having previousely consumed 1 kg firewood, this roughly corresponds to 200 L biogas, 1 kg dried cow dung corresponds to 100 L biogas and 1 kg charcoal corresponds to 500 L biogas. 1 kg of human faeces generates about 50 litres of biogas, 1 kg of cattle dung delivers 40 litres of biogas, and 1 kg of chicken droppings generates about 70 litres of biogas (NWP 2006).

Gas consumption for cooking per person and per meal is between 150 and 300 L biogas. Approximately 30-40 L biogas is required to cook one litre of water, 120-140 L for 0.5 kg rice and 160-190 L for 0.5 kg vegetables.

Tests in Nepal and Tanzania have shown that the consumption rate of a household biogas stove is about 300-400 L/h. However, this depends on the stove design and the methane content of the biogas.

The following consumption rates in litres per hour (L/h) can be assumed for the use of biogas:

  • household burners: 200-450 L/h
  • industrial burners: 1000-3000 L/h
  • refrigerator (100 L) depending on outside temperature: 30-75 L/h
  • gas lamp, equivalent to a 60 W bulb: 120-150 L/h
  • biogas/dieselengine per bhp: 420 L/h
  • generation of 1 kWh of electricity with biogas/diesel mixture: 700 L/h
  • plastics moulding press (15 g, 100 units) with biogas/diesel mixture: 140 L/h

To use the energy of the biogas, biogas appliances, such as gas stoves or gas lamps are required. Both special biogas appliancesor pressure-kerosene and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) equipment are adapted. Compared to other gases, biogas needs less air for combustion. Therefore, conventional gas appliances need to be modified when they are used for biogas combustion (e.g., larger gas jets and burner holes).

The distance through which the gas must travel should be minimized since losses and leakages may occur. Drip valves should be installed for the drainage of condensed water, which accumulates at the lowest points of the gas pipe.

Health Aspects/Acceptance

For direct use, the following applying conditions should be kept:

  • The main prerequisite of biogas use is the availability of specially designed biogas burners or modified consumer appliances. 
  • In some cases, especially at larger scale, further treatment or conditioning of biogas is necessary before it is ready to use. This treatment aims to remove water, hydrogen sulphide or carbon dioxide from the raw gas.

Safety measures are needed, especially to reduce the risk of explosion in case of leakages.

                     D. Fulford (2008)

Biogas stove in kitchen, India. Source: FULFORD (2008)                    

In general, users enjoy cooking with biogas as it can immediately be switched on and off (as compared to wood and coal). Also, it burns without smoke, and, thus, does not lead to indoor air pollution. Cooking indoors over open fires, and lighting with kerosene, gives dangerous exposure to air pollutants and a high risk of fire, particularly for women and young children who spend much of their time indoors. Smoke inhalation in third world kitchens is a major cause of eye disease, respiratory illness and premature death. In addition, women and girls have the drudgery of collecting fuelwood, which typically takes several hours each day.

Furthermore the demand for fuelwood substantially exceeds the rate of regrowth, and this is leading to degradation of the land, forests and essentially damage to vital watersheds. Unsustainable use of fuelwood adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The biogas plants can replace nearly all the use of fuelwood, and make cooking easier, cleaner and safer. Thus, biogas contributes to the protection of the environment.

An average small-scale biogas plant can save up to 4.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year (ASHDEN 2005). In fact, the contribution of a methane molecule to the greenhouse effect is 21 times greater than that of a carbon dioxide molecule (SUSANA 2009). Therefore burning methane, even though producing CO2, reduces its impact on the environment (see also SSWM and Climate Change). Biogas generated from faeces may not be appropriate in all cultural contexts. Assuming that the biogas plant is well-constructed, operated and maintained (e.g. water is drained), the risk of leaks, explosions or any other threats to human health is negligible.

Operation & Maintenance

Biogas is usually fully saturated with water vapour, which leads to condensation. To prevent blocking and corrosion, the accumulated water has to be periodically emptied from the installed water traps. The gas pipelines, fittings and appliances must be regularly monitored by trained personnel.

When using biogas for an engine, it is necessary to first reduce the hydrogen sulphide because it forms corrosive acids when combined with condensing water.

The reduction of the carbon-dioxide content requires additional operational and financial efforts. As CO2 "scrubbing" is not necessary when biogas is used for cooking, it is rarely advisable in developing countries.

Applicability

Anaerobic digesters, which produce biogas from human or kitchen wastes as substrates, are easily adaptable and can be applied at the household level, small neighbourhood or at large scale. However, the more concentrated the substrate (i.e. rich in organic material) the more energy will be contained in the produced gas. If the substrate sludge is too dilute, additional organic waste can be added to improve the efficiency (see also anaerobic digestion or small scale anaerobic digestion). Anaerobic digestion is not economically feasible below 15°C and thus not adapted to cold regions.

The use of biogas can be especially beneficial in rural areas, where there is no access to any other energy source and deforestation and indoor pollutions are an issue.

Digesters are compact and can be built underground, therefore they are also appropriate for dense housing areas or public institutions that generate a lot of sludge (e.g. markets).

To minimise distribution losses, the digesters producing the gas should be installed close to where the gas can be used. However, biogas remains explosive and it should not be stored inside the housing where people are living and sleeping.

The calorific efficiency of using biogas is 55% in stoves, 24% in engines, but only 3% in lamps. A biogas lamp is only half as efficient as a kerosene lamp. The most efficient way of using biogas is in a heat-power combination where 88% efficiency can be reached. But this is only valid for larger installations and under the condition that the exhaust heat is profitably used. For household application, the best way to use biogas is cooking.

Advantages

  • Free source of energy
  • Reduction of indoor air pollution and deforestation (if firewood or coal was previously used)
  • Reduces workload in collecting firewood and in cooking (if firewood or coal was previously used)
  • Little operation skills or maintenance required
  • Contributing to reducing the emission of gases that contribute to global warming
  • Deforestation and soil erosion can be reduced
  • Cooking on biogas is quicker and easier than cooking with firewood

Disadvantages

  • May not fulfil total energy requirements
  • Cannot replace all types of energy
  • Cannot be easily stored (low energy density per volume) and, thus, needs to be continuously used
  • Biogas lamps have lower efficiency compared to using kerosene
  • Gas production below 15°C is no longer economically feasible

References Library

ASHDEN (Editor) (2004): Biogas cooking stoves for villages on the fringes of the tiger reserve in Ranthambhore Park. The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 22.09.2010].

ASHDEN (Editor) (2005): Domestic biogas for cooking and sanitation. London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

DEUBLEIN, D.; STEINHAUSER, A. (2011): Biogas from Waste and Renewable Resources, 2nd Ed. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. URL [Accessed: 09.05.2014].

EAWAG (Editor); SANDEC (Editor) (2009): Evaluation of Biogas Sanitation Systems in Nepalese Prisons. Summary Presentation of Evaluation Results. Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (EAWAG), Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC). URL [Accessed: 27.04.2010].

FULFORD, D. (1996): Biogas Stove Design. A short course. Kingdom Bioenergy Ltd.; University of Reading. URL [Accessed: 06.01.2011].

GURUNG, T. (2007): Biogas, Saving Nature Naturally. In: EcoCircular 42, 1-3. URL [Accessed: 25.04.2010].

GTZ (Editor) (2007): Feasability Study for a National Domestic Biogas Programme in Burkina Faso. German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH. URL [Accessed: 21.04.2010].

KOSSMANN, W.; POENITZ, U.; HABERMEHL, S.; HOERZ, T.; KRAEMER, P.; KLINGLER, B.; KELLNER, C.; WITTUR, T.; VON KLOPOTEK, F.; KRIEG, A.; EULER, H. (1999): Biogas Digest Volume II. Biogas - Application and Product Development. Eschborn: GTZ. URL [Accessed: 09.05.2014].

LOHRI (2009): Research on Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Solid Waste at Household Level in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (= Bachelor Thesis). Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). URL [Accessed: 05.05.2010].

MANG, H.-P.; LI, Z. (2010): Technology Review of Biogas Sanitation. (= Technology Review ). Eschborn: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. URL [Accessed: 17.06.2013].

MDCSEO (Editor) (2003): Minnesota\'92s Potential for Electricity Production Using Manure Biogas Resources. Minnesota, USA: Minnesota Department of Commerce State Energy Office (MDCSEO). URL [Accessed: 09.04.2010].

NWP (Editor) (2006): Smart Sanitation Solutions. Examples of innovative, low-cost technologies for toilets, collection, transportation, treatment and use of sanitation products. (= Smart water solutions). Amsterdam: Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP). URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

PBPO (Editor) (2006): Support Project to the Biogas Programme for the Animal Husbandry Sector in some Provinces of Vietnam. (= BP I Final Report). Hanoi: Provincial Biogas Project Office Hanoi . URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

SCHALLER, M. (2007): Biogas electricity production hits 17,272GWh a year in Europe. In: Engineer Live, 46-49 . URL [Accessed: 03.05.2010].

SUSANA (Editor) (2009): Links between Sanitation, Climate Change and Renewable Energies. Eschborn. (= SuSanA fact sheet 09/2009). Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) . URL [Accessed: 05.09.2010].

TILLEY, E.; LUETHI, C.; MOREL, A.; ZURBRUEGG, C.; SCHERTENLEIB, R. (2008): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). URL [Accessed: 15.02.2010].

See document in FRENCH

VOEGELI, Y.; LOHRI, C.R.; GALLARDO, A.; DIENER, S.; ZURBRUEGG, C.; EAWAG (Editor) (2014): Anaerobic Digestion of Biowaste in Developing Countries. Practical Information and Case Studies. Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). URL [Accessed: 03.03.2013].

WRAPAI (Editor) (2009): Document 8, Data Management Document, Appendix S 06 - Energy Research. Australia: Waste Refinery Australia Project Association Incorporated (WRAPAI).

Further Readings Library

Reference icon

TILLEY, E.; ULRICH, L.; LUETHI, C.; REYMOND, P.; SCHERTENLEIB, R.; ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies (Arabic). 2nd Revised Edition. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). PDF

This is the Arabic version of the Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. The Compendium gives a systematic overview on different sanitation systems and technologies and describes a wide range of available low-cost sanitation technologies.


Reference icon

BERGER, W. (2011): Technology Review of Composting Toilets. Eschborn: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). URL [Accessed: 06.02.2012].

This GIZ publication explains the design, use and operational requirements of composting toilets. Ample examples for composting toilets from around the world are included in the publication to show that these types of toilets have a wide range of applications under a variety of circumstances (for wealthy or poor people; for cold, hot, wet or dry climates; for urban or rural settings). The appendix contains a listing of suppliers.


Reference icon

DEKELVER, G.; RUZIGANA, S.; LAM, J. (2005): Report on the Feasibility Study for a Biogas Support Programme in the Republic of Rwanda. Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) . URL [Accessed: 09.04.2010].

This report presents the findings of a study conducted by Ministry of Agriculture (MININFRA) and SNV to assess the feasibility to set-up and implement a national programme on domestic biogas in Rwanda.


Reference icon

DRESCHER, S.; ZURBRUEGG, C.; ENAYETULLAH, I.; SINGHA, M.A.D. (2006): Decentralised Composting for Cities of Low- and Middle-Income Countries – A User’s Manual. Dhaka: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (EAWAG), Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC) and Waste Concern. URL [Accessed: 16.08.2010].

This book describes approaches and methods of composting on neighbourhood level in small-and middle-scale plants. It considers issues of waste collection, composting technologies, management systems, occupational health concerns, product quality, marketing and end-user demands.


Reference icon

ICRC (Editor) (2009): Evaluation of Biogas Sanitation Systems in Nepalese Prisons. Nepal: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). URL [Accessed: 24.01.2011].


Reference icon

GTZ (Editor) (2007): Feasability Study for a National Domestic Biogas Programme in Burkina Faso. German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH. URL [Accessed: 21.04.2010].

This feasibility study resumes the current situation in Burkina Faso regarding social aspects, water and energy issues, agricultural and livestock sector activities, sanitation and environmental topics. It analyses the technical feasibility of currently available biogas digester designs for standardization and massive dissemination in the context of Burkina Faso. Also an outline of a National Domestic Biogas Programme is presented.


Reference icon

ITODO, I. N.; AGYO, G. E.; YUSUF, P. (2007): Performance evaluation of a biogas stove for cooking in Nigeria. In: Journal of Energy in Southern Africa 18, 14-18. URL [Accessed: 09.04.2010].

Journal article on a biogas digester, which was designed, constructed and its performance evaluated using a 3m3 continuous flow Indian type biogas plant at the Teaching and Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria. Various technical drafts and mathematical and chemical formulas are shown.


Reference icon

KOSSMANN, W.; POENITZ, U.; HABERMEHL, S.; HOERZ, T.; KRAEMER, P.; KLINGLER, B.; KELLNER, C.; WITTUR, T.; VON KLOPOTEK, F.; KRIEG, A.; EULER, H. (1999): Biogas Digest Volume II. Biogas - Application and Product Development. Eschborn: GTZ. URL [Accessed: 09.05.2014].

This information service on biogas technology has been developed and produced on the order of the GTZ project Information and Advisory Service on Appropriate Technology (ISAT). It contains information on the application of biogas and product development.


Reference icon

LOHRI (2009): Research on Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Solid Waste at Household Level in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (= Bachelor Thesis). Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). URL [Accessed: 05.05.2010].

Decentralized anaerobic digestion is a promising technology to handle the large organic fraction of the municipal solid waste (e.g. kitchen waste) with the additional benefit of producing biogas as well as fertilizer. This paper evaluates the suitability of the ARTI Compact biogas system as a decentralised low-tech treatment option for the organic fraction of household waste in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Reference icon

MANG, H.-P.; LI, Z. (2010): Technology Review of Biogas Sanitation. (= Technology Review ). Eschborn: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. URL [Accessed: 17.06.2013].

This document provides an overview and introduction on biogas sanitation (anaerobic digestion) for blackwater or for brown water, or excreta treatment for reuse in developing countries. The main technologies discussed are biogas settlers (BSs), biogas septic tanks, anaerobic baffled reactor (ABRs), anaerobic filter (AFs) and upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors (UASBs).


Reference icon

MDC (Editor) (2003): Minnesota's Potential for Electricity Production Using Manure Biogas Resources. Final Report. Minnesota: Minnesota Department of Commerce (MDC) and State Energy Office (SEO). URL [Accessed: 23.04.2010].

This report is a basic assessment of the feasibility and potential for using animal wastes in anaerobic methane digesters to create electricity in Minnesota. It covers an estimation of the electricity potential, the farm-size thresholds that warrant further investigation for a potential digester system, a quantification of the impact of incentives as well as a financial analysis.


Reference icon

NES, W.J.; BOERS, W. van; UL-ISLAM, K. (2005): Feasibility of a national programme on domestic biogas in Bangladesh. Final report. Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). URL [Accessed: 23.04.2010].

This report presents the finding of a study conducted by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) to assess the feasibility to set up and implement a national programme on domestic biogas in Bangladesh.


Reference icon

NWP (Editor) (2006): Smart Sanitation Solutions. Examples of innovative, low-cost technologies for toilets, collection, transportation, treatment and use of sanitation products. (= Smart water solutions). Amsterdam: Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP). URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

Smart Sanitation Solutions presents examples of low-cost household and community-based sanitation solutions that have proven effective and affordable. A wide range of innovative technologies for toilets, collection, transportation, treatment and use of sanitation products that have already helped thousands of poor families to improve their lives is illustrated.


Reference icon

PACE Project (Editor) (n.y.): Biogas. (= Action Sheet, 66). The Pan African Conservation Education Project (PACE Project). URL [Accessed: 20.04.2010].

Factsheet on biogas and how it can be produced at farm level.


Reference icon

PBPO (Editor) (2006): Support Project to the Biogas Programme for the Animal Husbandry Sector in some Provinces of Vietnam. (= BP I Final Report). Hanoi: Provincial Biogas Project Office Hanoi . URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

The Vietnamese and Netherlands Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a domestic biogas dissemination project in 10 provinces of Vietnam in January 2003. The project supports the agricultural sector in several provinces in Vietnam and uniquely joined Vietnams technical knowledge on fixed dome plant design and construction with Netherlands experience with large-scale dissemination of domestic biogas.


Reference icon

SINHA, S.; KAZAGLIS, A. (n.y.): BIOGAS and DEWATS, a perfect match?. Bremen: Bremen Overseas Research and Development Agency (BORDA). URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

The resources gained from DEWATS-linked biogas digesters (gas for cooking), when combined with adequate social interventions, have resulted in increased acceptance of the DEWATS installations by communities and institutions. Two case studies in Bangalore, India illustrate this approach of the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA).


Reference icon

SUSANA (Editor) (2009): Links between Sanitation, Climate Change and Renewable Energies. Eschborn. (= SuSanA fact sheet 09/2009). Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) . URL [Accessed: 05.09.2010].

This factsheet of Sustainable Sanitation Alliance describes the impact of greenhouse gases on climate change and focuses on the advantages of renewable energies. Therefore many different technologies like production of biogas or short-rotation-plantations are mentioned.


Reference icon

TILLEY, E.; LUETHI, C.; MOREL, A.; ZURBRUEGG, C.; SCHERTENLEIB, R. (2008): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). URL [Accessed: 15.02.2010].

This compendium gives a systematic overview on different sanitation systems and technologies and describes a wide range of available low-cost sanitation technologies.

See document in FRENCH


Reference icon

WRAPAI (Editor) (2009): Document 8, Data Management Document, Appendix S 06 - Energy Research. Australia: Waste Refinery Australia Project Association Incorporated (WRAPAI).

This document provided by Waste Refinery Australia Project Association Inc. contains information on biogas, different types of cogeneration (CHP) and district heating. Additionally there are also facts and information on hydronics and gas flare.


Case Studies Library

Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2004): Biogas cooking stoves for villages on the fringes of the tiger reserve in Ranthambhore Park. The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 22.09.2010].

The Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, India, is the home of the endangered Indian tiger, and the demand for fuelwood for cooking in surrounding villages puts great pressure on the park's trees. The Prakratik Society has installed 250 biogas digesters in villages on the park's fringes. The digesters use cattle manure to produce biogas for cooking, and thus save fuelwood.


Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2005): Biogas plants providing sanitation and cooking fuel in Rwanda. London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

The Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management (KIST) has developed and installed large-scale biogas plants in prisons in Rwanda to treat toilet wastes and generate biogas for cooking. After the treatment, the bio-effluent is used as fertiliser for production of crops and fuel wood.


Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2005): Domestic biogas for cooking and sanitation. London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

The Biogas Sector Partnership (BSP) in Nepal managed the installation of over 124,000 domestic biogas plants in Nepal between 1992 and 2005. The plants use cattle manure to provide biogas for cooking and lighting. In addition, about 75% of the plants incorporate toilets.


Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2006): Fuel, compost and sanitation from biogas in rural China. London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 13.04.2010].

The Shaanxi Mothers' Environmental Protection Volunteer Association has installed 1,294 biogas plants in rural farming households in the Shaanxi Province of China since 1999. The plants produce biogas from pig and human waste.


Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2007): Clean cooking and income generation from biogas plants in Karnataka. London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 14.03.2010].

SKG Sangha (SKG S) is a non-profit organisation that supplies biogas plants to households in rural areas of South India. The ‘Deenbandu’ design plants are built on-site by local masons and labourers trained by SKGS, with very high quality standards. Plants produce biogas by digesting cow dung, replacing all the fuel wood used for cooking.


Reference icon

GURUNG, T. (2007): Biogas, Saving Nature Naturally. In: EcoCircular 42, 1-3. URL [Accessed: 25.04.2010].

This article shows how biogas technology could improve the life of rural habitants in Nepal by preserving the nature.


Reference icon

VOEGELI, Y.; LOHRI, C.R.; GALLARDO, A.; DIENER, S.; ZURBRUEGG, C.; EAWAG (Editor) (2014): Anaerobic Digestion of Biowaste in Developing Countries. Practical Information and Case Studies. Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). URL [Accessed: 03.03.2013].

This book published by Eawag/Sandec compiles existing and recently generated knowledge on anaerobic digestion of urban biowaste at small and medium scale with special consideration given to the conditions prevailing in developing countries. Written for actors working in the waste and renewable energy sector, the book is divided into two parts: Part 1 focuses on practical information related to the anaerobic digestion supply chain (substrate-, process-, and product chain), and Part 2 presents selected case studies from around the world.


Reference icon

WAFLER, M. ; HEEB, J.; STAUB, A.; OLT, C. (2009): Pour-flush toilets with biogas plant at DSK Training Institute. Gujarat, India - Draft. (= SuSanA - Case Studies). Eschborn: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA). URL [Accessed: 25.04.2010].

The project described aimed at avoiding manual scavenging of faecal products and at improving the sanitation situation at the Navsarjan Vocational Training Institute. Now greywater is separately treated and reused in the garden while the urine and faeces (blackwater) are directly introduced into a biogas plant. Digested sludge is dried on basic drying beds and used as compost for the garden. UDDTs were also installed. The concept was implemented and evaluated for its social and cultural acceptability, sustainable and hygienic safety.


Reference icon

ZIMMERMANN, N.; WAFLER, M.; THAKUR, P. (2009): Decentralised Wastewater Management at Adarsh College Badlapur, Maharashtra, India. (= SuSanA - Case Studies). Eschborn: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA). URL [Accessed: 22.09.2010].

This case study reports the development of an ecologically sound sanitation concept at the Adarsh Bidyaprasarak Sanstha's College of Arts & Commerce. In comprises separate urine collection and a DEWATS system for the treatment of black- and greywater consisting of biogas settler, an anaerobic baffled reactor, and anaerobic filter, a horizontal flow wetland and a polishing pond.


Awareness Raising Material Library

Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2007): SKG Sangha Film. London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 15.03.2011].

Short film about SKG Sangha, a non-profit organisation that supplies biogas plants to households in rural areas of South India. The ‘Deenbandu’ design plants are built on-site by local masons and labourers trained by SKG Sangha, with very high quality standards. Plants produce biogas by digesting cow dung, replacing all the fuelwood used for cooking.


Reference icon

ASHDEN (Editor) (2006): Shaanxi Mothers, China Domestic biogas for cooking and lighting (Film). London: The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. URL [Accessed: 15.03.2011].

Short film about the Shaanxi Mothers' Environmental Protection Volunteer Association (Shaanxi Mothers). It has installed 1.294 biogas plants in rural farming households in the Shaanxi Province of China since 1999. The plants produce biogas from pig and human waste.


Training Material Library

Reference icon

FULFORD, D. (1996): Biogas Stove Design. A short course. Kingdom Bioenergy Ltd.; University of Reading. URL [Accessed: 06.01.2011].

This document was orginially presented for MSc Course on "Renewable Energy and the Environment” at the University of Reading. It present basic therotical principals for the technical design of biogas burners.


Important Weblinks

http://www.arti-india.org/ [Accessed: 09.04.2010]

This webpage of the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI) contains a report on an implemented biogas plant project in Maharashtra, India. The biogas is used for cooking.

http://akvo.org/ [Accessed: 09.04.2010]

The sanitation portal of Akvopedia offers state of the art information on several sanitation technologies. It also mentions background knowledge on “Biogas as a source of energy”.

http://www.susana.org/ [Accessed: 09.04.2010]

The webpage of Sustainable Sanitation Alliance working group 03 provides up to date information on the use of biogas and anaerobic biogas reactors. Technical drafts and links are also available.

http://www.thinksolarenergy.net/ [Accessed: 09.04.2010]

This webpage provides information of the application of biogas for cooking in Santa Fe de Guatuso. The e report explains the economic, social and technical background of the project.