Biogas Production in Low-cost Household Digesters at the Peruvian Andes

Type Journal Article - Biomass and Bioenergy
Title Biogas Production in Low-cost Household Digesters at the Peruvian Andes
Volume 35
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 1668-1674
Low-cost tubular digesters originally developed in tropical regions have been adapted to the extreme weather conditions of the Andean Plateau (3000e4000 m.a.s.l.). The aim of this study was to characterise biogas production in household digesters located at high altitude, operating under psychrophilic conditions. To this end, two pilot digesters were monitored and field campaigns were carried out in two representative digesters of rural communities. Digesters’ useful volume ranged between 2.4 and 7.5 m3, and hydraulic residence time (HRT) between 60 and 90 days. The temperature inside the digester’s greenhouse ranged between 20 and 25 C. Treating cow manure, a specific biogas production around 0.35 m3 kgVS 1 was obtained, with some 65% CH4 in biogas. In order to fulfil daily requirements for cooking and lighting, biogas production should be enhanced without increasing implementation costs as not to impede the expansion of this technology at household scale. In this sense, HRT below 60 days and OLR above 1 kgVS m3 day1 should be investigated to decrease digesters’ volume (i.e. costs) and increase biogas production rate. The adaptation of conventional gas burners to biogas characteristics can also contribute in improving the efficiency of the system.

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