Hyacinth to Biogas

Over 90% of the population in Rarieda relies on firewood for cooking. Every day an average family uses at least 60/- Kenya shillings (2/3 of a dollar) worth of firewood.

We intend to utilize available resources to solve energy problems.

With the prohibitive prices of fuel and electricity, energy continuously becomes inaccessible to a huge proportion of rural population.

As a consequence:-

  • Small scale industrial productions have become unsustainable, a fact that has greatly contributed to youth unemployment and an increase in levels of poverty.
  • Over 90% of the population in Rarieda have been forced to rely on firewood for cooking, a fact that greatly contributes to forest depletion in this region.

Biogas in Rarieda is a program which aims at providing a sustainable source of environmentally positive energy for domestic and small scale industrial applications.. By utilizing this problem plant together with locally available livestock manure as feed-stock for anaerobic digestion, we can produce biogas for energy and bio-fertilizer for use in agriculture.

On average, there are four adult cows per homestead in Rarieda. Cow dung is therefore available.

Biogas Production

Biogas is produced when organic matter decomposes in the absence of oxygen. This happens due to the presence of putrefactive bacteria which acts on organic matter during the absence of oxygen.

As biogas is often produced from sewage and organic waste materials, it provides a non-polluting and renewable source of energy fully capable of replacing other rural energy sources like firewood, charcoal, kerosene and plant residues.

While large biogas plants generate and feed electricity into mainstream power grids smaller plants produce enough gas for lighting and cooking requirements of a rural household.

A mixture of different types of feed stock allows a high gas output.

The compact household plant can be fed with all types of organic waste. Food remains, animal waste, agricultural waste and sewage can be mixed and fed into the plant.

This technology allows the biological processes in the biogas plant to remain stable and provide a high gas output even when a particular type of feed stock becomes unavailable.

Experimental set up was installed at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya to investigate potential gas yield from a mixture of hyacinth and cow dung. 1500 kg of feedstock was fed into the digester and allowed to generate gas.

The study showed a greater yield of biogas from the mixture of hyacinth and cow dung as compared to cow dung. The results of the study agree with those reported by other researchers using water hyacinth as feed stock.

The utilization also provides an innovative way of managing the invasion of the weed in Lake Victoria in an environmentally sound manner.

The compact household plant can be fed with all types of organic waste. Food remains, animal waste, agricultural waste and sewage can be mixed and fed into the plant.

This technology allows the biological processes in the biogas plant to remain stable and provide a high gas output even when a particular type of feed stock becomes unavailable.

Experimental set up was installed at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya to investigate potential gas yield from a mixture of hyacinth and cow dung. 1500 kg of feedstock was fed into the digester and allowed to generate gas.

The study showed a greater yield of biogas from the mixture of hyacinth and cow dung as compared to cow dung. The results of the study agree with those reported by other researchers using water hyacinth as feed stock.

The utilization also provides an innovative way of managing the invasion of the weed in Lake Victoria in an environmentally sound manner.

Poverty reduction

We will have reduced poverty levels by creating employment through various small scale industries. Biogas provides a cheap source of energy; making it ideal for small scale industrial applications in rural areas.

Food security

We will have ensured food security through increased, low cost, agricultural production made possible by availability of nutrient rich bio-fertilizer. High cost of chemical fertilizer is one of the factors affecting food production in Kenya.

Environmental protection

We will have reduced substantially the number of families that rely on firewood for cooking, therefore preserving the forest and by extension reducing substantially problems like soil erosion, global warming, habitat destruction (loss of species) and disrupted water cycle.

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