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Power-saving biodigester to be installed in Motueka

October 1st, 2012

Those concerned about future power prices as energy costs rise may find an answer in a domestic biodigestor, which is set to be installed and demonstrated in Motueka on Sunday.

Biodigesters work by using simple technology to capture the methane that is a byproduct of what is essentially compost. Although some are large-scale devices, there are now domestic units available, and small units can be easily constructed by a handyperson.

A biodigester is being installed at the Motueka Community Gardens, opposite the Recreation Centre in Old Wharf Road, on Sunday at 1pm, and anyone interested in how it works and how to construct their own is welcome to attend. This unit was funded from a Tasman District Council fund.

Bill Rucks, of Water Alchemy Ltd, an internationally known expert in this technology, will present the workshop.

"It's about being productive with what we have," says Community Garden chairwoman Tara Forde. "Being efficient around the home in energy usage is best. However, major uses of energy are hot water and cooking. Both of these can be sourced from a biodigester."

Biogas typically refers to a gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas originates from biogenic material and is a type of bio fuel.

The digester plant in question is filled with a starter mix, either cattle dung mixed with water and waste flour/sugar or else effluent from an existing biogas plant mixed with starch. The feeding of the plant is built up over a few weeks until it provides a steady supply of gas, typically 250g of gas per day from 1 kg (dry matter) of feed.

 



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