Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

  • ande1978
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Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

Dear Susana Members,

I am currently promoting an Ecosan concept at a primary school in Western Kenya. The concept consists of different WASH topics for school sanitation like installing hand-washing devices as well as constructing a biogas digester which is by far the most cost-intensive component.

Since I am a "newbie" in terms of Ecosan (actually I am currently studying Ecosan at UNESCO-IHE and my instructor Mariska encouraged me to post this note - thanks Mariska :) ), I request your input review for the design parameters.

Attached you will find my promotion presentation for the project, including a calculation of the biogas design parameters. Throughout the calculation, I stuck to the rules for volume design. But, as I am not yet an expert in that matter, I have a strong feeling the model is just too simple. Hence, please, Ecosan and biogas experts, help me with some expert input!

The project itself requires external funds. Do you have some extra hints in how to attract donators?

All the best,

Andreas
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Ecological Sanitation Consultant
currently acting as Project Manager in Sanitation for "Offene Herzen e.V. - open hearts" in Chwele/Western Kenya

Master in Business Engineering
Longing for a detailed review of the UN MDG achievements after 2015 with rectifying post-MDG goals

Mobile: +254708617662
Location: Kiminini (Kitale), Kenya

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  • muench
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Re: Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

Dear Andreas,

Welcome to the forum! And a particular welcome to you as one of the ecosan online course students of Mariska. :-)

Your question sounds pretty similar to a discussion we previously had on the forum, please see here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/35-bio...s-any-best-practices

Could you take a look and then maybe post there, about your questions that have not been answered by the posts?

In fact have you read all the posts in the biogas category? I think some of them will be helpful for you:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/35-bio...n-systems-and-dewats

And could you please introduce yourself a little bit more (maybe by adding a personal text and signature to your forum profile?). See here if you are unsure how to do it:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/134-us...-such-as-a-signature
Or maybe also something about your background would be interesting.

Personally, I have my doubts about biogas sanitation for schools in Sub-Saharan Africa - too expensive, not enough biogas and too much maintenance required (maybe in Asia it is more manageable but also there only for boarding schools with big kitchens).

If I was a donor, I would rather put my money into UDDTs at schools. See here for discussions about those:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...-and-ud-flush-toilet

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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  • Marijn Zandee
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Re: Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

Dear Andreas,

I will not go into the discussion to whether biogas at schools is a good technology for SSA, as I am not familiar with the region. As you can read in the discussions Elizabeth has referred to above one of the main challenges(from a technical point of view) will be that during holidays there are no children at the school. Further, using biogas with toilets (even pour flush) means you will have a relatively large flow (all the flushing water) in relation to the amount of substrate.

To get more specifically into your calculations, I only had a quick look but I am afraid my own rules of the thumb come out at different figures.

I would recommend you download the book "Biogas Plants" that was written by Ludwig Sasse in 1988 for GTZ/GATE. This is easily found if you google: "Sasse + biogas + 1988". It is an oldie, but still very good for getting design parameters for biogas in the developing world.

On the back of an envelope I would get to the following figures for your concept:

Total students + teachers = 220 -> per person 12 liters of blackwater/day = 2.64 cum/day.

Number of cows = 10, per day manure production per cow= 10 kg (including urine, so you need to collect that with a watertight stable floor) Total cow dung = 100 kg/day = 0.1 cum/day

Kitchen waste: 5 kg (seems very little considering the size of the hostels, assuming all the students live there) I would expect more like 50 kg/dag. = 0.05 cum/day.

Total daily inflow = 2.79 cum/day

Retention time = 100 days (since you have all those toilets attached).

Volume of biogas plant = 2.79 x 100 = 280 cum. (that is a large biogas plant in the developing world).

Gas production would be something like:

Total "dry" feedstock (minus flushing water) = 110kg (human waste) + 100kg (cow dung) + 50kg (kitchen waste)= 260 kg/day. With this composition and retention time approximately 60 liter gas/kg/day = 15.600 liter = 15.6 cum/day.

Kind regards

Marijn Zandee (also once a student of Mariska for the same course ;-))

Marijn Zandee

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  • ande1978
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Re: Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

Dear Elisabeth,

I have updated my profile, adding a signature. Thank you for the introduction! I want to give you some further information about what I am currently doing since you asked for it.

Between 2005 and 2012 I worked as a Management Consultant with different companies, dealing with international clients, mainly Financial departments like CFOs. In 2012, I decided to volunteer for a small Swiss NGO that supports a local school in Kenya. Here, I finished several projects like constructing a guest house and an administration block for the school. Currently, I am working on introducing an Ecosan concept at the school and equipping the staff with donated laptops in order to introduce a computer based training at school as well as an account management software.

Together with my wife, we support a ( local water filter project with her TRAWAS water testing laboratory which we also want to use in other projects.

As I mentioned, I am an Ecosan course participant of Mariska (had my exam yesterday :) ). The whole Ecosan paradigm fits very well into my understanding of a sustainable life and I am very grateful to having come across the UNESCO-IHE website.

I regard Ecosan as my future topic and definitely want to professionalize more and more in there. During the studies, I have already started to apply the knowledge into practice and I had some success in developing capacities in my community. The feedback for my efforts was amazing in terms of increased yield results and happy neighbors. Yet, I search for partners and organizations who look for a reliable partner in Western Kenya / Ugandan border as it is difficult to act without financial means. Together with my friend, Moses Wakala, we are about to start an NGO project called "Ecosan for Life".

Hence, if there are any contacts to be recommended I'd highly appreciated your and the forum's input!


Best regards,

Andreas

Ecological Sanitation Consultant
currently acting as Project Manager in Sanitation for "Offene Herzen e.V. - open hearts" in Chwele/Western Kenya

Master in Business Engineering
Longing for a detailed review of the UN MDG achievements after 2015 with rectifying post-MDG goals

Mobile: +254708617662
Location: Kiminini (Kitale), Kenya
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

I guess you should be already in contact with my two colleagues from HORIZONT3000 who are working in Kitale also, especially Hannes Eder who is working on a sustainable agricultural project with Desece (Development Education Systems of Community Empowerment).

Otherwise, I will be likely soon in Bukwo district in eastern Uganda (right on the border only a few kilometers from Kitale) to support our member organization Catholic Relief Services Uganda on an integrated WASH/IWRM project there. Not sure (yet) if what they are doing is of any interest to you, but I can link you up with the responsible project officer.

About the ceramics filters and the water testing, there is a social enterprise here in Uganda called Whave Solutions ( www.whave.org/ ) that is looking into building up a supply chain for these filters I think. Since they are also active in eastern Uganda, it might be worth getting into contact.

Last but not least, I have another colleague who is working with an local NGO called YES Busia in Busia that is the border town to Kenya, which also have a series of WASH activities, but I am not sure in how far these overlap with your interests.

Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
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  • ande1978
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Re: Biogas promotion at Kenyan Primary school

Julius,

thank you very much for your fast response. Actually, I miss all the contacts that you mentioned. Certainly, it would be interesting to meet Hannes Eder since he is my neighbor. Could you share them with me by email, please?

All the activities that you mentioned sound interesting to me. Setting up a supply chain was the main content of my master thesis several years back. And I have experience in the filter business in Kenya.

Ecological Sanitation Consultant
currently acting as Project Manager in Sanitation for "Offene Herzen e.V. - open hearts" in Chwele/Western Kenya

Master in Business Engineering
Longing for a detailed review of the UN MDG achievements after 2015 with rectifying post-MDG goals

Mobile: +254708617662
Location: Kiminini (Kitale), Kenya
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