This Project Develops Cleaner, More Convenient Energy for Cooking
Poor rural households in Sichuan traditionally use either coal or firewood as cooking fuel. Not only do these practices produce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, but also severe indoor air pollution.
Households that take part in this project are small farms that raise pigs and typically store the pig manure in traditional pits below or beside the animal confinements. These open pits do generate methane emissions, as well as pose severe health risks for both animals and humans alike. Similar to conventional latrines, these manure pits are sources of disease and parasite infections. Additionally, they multiply the risk of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed from animals to humans).
In order to mitigate the air pollutants generated from coal burning, provide a better indoor environment, and improve sanitation to needy rural communities in the Sichuan regions, this Household Biogas project aims to maximize the usage of animal manure and turn it into a cleaner, more convenient, fully renewable and less costly cooking fuel.
By installing a biogas digester (or a closed structure meant for capturing waste and the gas waste emits) with an inlet pipe directly connected to the animal barns, the households can sweep the manure directly into the digester without any further contact. Stored in the septic tank of the digester, both the odor of the degrading manure and the risk of infections are greatly reduced.
Biogas is generated in the digester and delivered to the gas cooker through a rubber hose. As long as there is gas in the digester, it can easily be extracted and is available within seconds. Without this project, households would need to keep a sufficient stock of coal and wood. The biogas generated from the digester is constantly available and does not need to be stored, nor purchased.
Furthermore, the gas cookers can simply be switched on and off – there is no waste – the design is incredibly efficient. The project can even result in more efficient cooking times as there is no longer a need to wait for fires to reach a full heat.
So far, this Project has avoided the combustion of 627,072,005 kg of coal, with this number consistently increasing on a daily basis as long as we keep the project running!
Feedback from Sichuan Household Biogas Program Beneficiaries
“Our home is now free of smoke, flies and smells. It is also much more convenient for me to manage our family business while taking care of the cooking. With more pigs we would even be able to use the biogas for lighting and heat water for the shower.” —– Household Ms. Huang Mingying (digester installed in 2012)
“Biogas is hygienic, convenient, free-of-charge and is available all the time. It is also much cleaner than firewood. We have been able to use it to cook all the time.” —– Household Ms. Zeng Yuying (digester installed in 2011)
For more environmental and social benefits brought by the Project, here is an independent scientific study for your reference.