Biogas refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas is produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a gas that is formed by anaerobic microorganisms. These microbes feed off carbohydrates and fats, producing methane and carbon dioxides as metabolic waste products. This gas can be harnessed by man as a source of sustainable energy.
Biomass is converted into gas and is used for a broader range of energy devices. Biogas can be used directly for heating or cooking, converted to electricity, or used as a synthetic gas for producing higher quality fuels or chemical products like hydrogen or methanol. Gasifiers operate by heating biomass in an environment where the solid biomass breaks down to form a flammable gas. Produced biogas can be cleaned and filtered to remove problem chemical compounds and then the gas can be used in more efficient power generation systems called combined cycles, which combine gas turbines and steam turbines to produce electricity. A World Bank study shows that about 50-60% of the energy in developing countries of Asia and 70-90% in African countries comes from biomass. In India and Southern Africa, we are in negotiations with varying District Network Operators in different regions with view of obtaining Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in order to secure construction of biogas plants in large towns of 500,000 plus inhabitants.
The biogas plant will be directly helping with the disposal of sanitation as well as the production of clean energy. Like most of the developing world sanitation and energy demands are high yet the delivery extremely poor. Once complete we will roll this out in many other developing markets. We will begin construction of these plants as well as structural development to get energy to the relevant grids in the near future. For the developing world we feel bioenergy is the most important renewable energy option, both at present.
In sub-Sahara Africa, we have identified multiple conurbations with populations of 500,000+ where we are able to deploy biogas plants, through the collection and processing of sewerage as a feedlot and the production of:
As a form of energy recovery, most WtE processes produce electricity and/or heat directly through combustion, or produce a combustible fuel commodity, such as methane, methanol, ethanol, or other synthetic fuels. Any organic waste from urban and rural areas as well as industries is feedlot due to its ability to degrade and release methane, which can be used for direct energy generation.
In most African cities, little is done and far little is happening currently in the areas of waste reduction and waste recycling management for waste management practices. The problems caused by solid and liquid wastes can be significantly mitigated through the adoption of environmentally friendly waste-to-energy technologies that will allow treatment and processing of wastes before their disposal.
Waste management is a critical issue for most African cities as a result of the huge generation of mountains of waste stemming from increases in urban populations couple with access to consumer goods by a fast-growing middle class. We expect waste generation to increase rapidly in the immediate to near future. Positioning ourselves in front of the curve will allow for up-to-date development with technologies and financing structures. This will equally allow us to surmount the challenges of managing urban waste with limited resources at our disposal.