Biogas DIY is Cheaper and Easier than you Think
While it's always going to be easier to push a few buttons on your stove or thermostat and then just accept whatever bill comes in the mail, increasingly people are looking to Biogas as a renewable source of fuel for their homes.
The term 'Biogas' typically invokes images of massive power plant style compounds pushing out Renewable Natural Gas to 1000s of homes. However, creating and sustaining your own personal Biogas Digester is a very real consideration for a large percentage of home owners. It is not just an option for log cabins off the grid or homes in very rural areas.
Biogas is given off during the breakdown of organic waste like uneaten food and manure and when captured, provides a renewable source of fuel useful for many applications. This means your personal Biogas digester will run off the organic waste you and your family would otherwise probably be paying the community to pick up for you each week. Fecal waste created by you and even your pets can also be used to fuel the system.
There are a few very important considerations that need to be made when putting your system together. Firstly, it may seem obvious but you need to make sure you have a way to connect your new digester to whatever you plan on powering with it, whether it be a stove or your house's heating system. Secondly, to promote the bacterial reactions which generates Biogas, the system should be kept in an environment consistently between 50 and 85 degrees F.
While you only need a few items to put your new Biogas digestor together you should ensure they are as high quality as possible to ensure a long life for your system and cut down on replacement costs. Here is what you will need to begin:
- Large airtight container to use as Digester Tank
- Bucket to use as Gas Holding Tank
- Inlet pipe
- Slurry outlet pipe
- Outlet pipe for gas
One consideration to be made for your Digester Tank is that several holes will need to be made and then resealed around inserted pipes. Tank connectors are recommended if you can get them but most sealants or waterproof glues should suffice to ensure the environment remains airtight once finished. One or more holes should be drilled along the outside of the tank as outlets for digested slurry. The remaining holes will be placed in the top/cover of the tank. One or more will be gas outlets but one Large hole should be included as an inlet to add more organic material.
Speaking of, when putting your digester together, make sure it's done in such a way to where adding new organic waste won't also add unnecessary O2, which can stifle the process.
Once you're ready, you'll want to fill your system with enough waste to get the process started. It is recommended you fill half the container with water and then fill with Biogas producing waste, leaving about 10 percent of volume left for air.
The bucket you use for your Gas Holding Tank will also need a hole drilled and resealed in the bottom center. This hole will be for a gas guide pipe to be submerged in the slurry. Your produced biogas will be collected here.
The process will take about two weeks to create a usable batch of Biogas but the first collection probably won't be very useful for burning due to the CO2. All subsequent batches should burn perfectly.
It is also recommended to monitor the PH of your slurry often as a reading of 5.5 will make sure you get the best results.
The amount of Biogas your can create for yourself is only limited by the size of the system you are able to install. Every day countless fuel is thrown or literally flushed away when it could be used to not only save you money but also give you the satisfaction of knowing you created something that is actually helping power your life.
For a step by step guide, we recommend the video here.