Friday, 27 November 2009

Producing Methane

As you, my reader will be aware, I have been dreaming and scheming for a long time to produce methane on the shamba at the Twiga Children's Centre in Kisii.

Well, last Monday (23/11), we did it. We opened the tap on the digester, put a light to a gas burner and got a flame!

We had spent the last week building an anaerobic digester that was cheap yet safe. Kisii is not a town full of hardware shops selling gas connections so we resorted to anything we could find in the markets. Some bits failed, some were damaged, threads, etc., and some just were not what we needed, but eventually, we had our digester.

The next job was to feed it. We are using cow slurry, a horrible mixture of fresh dung and urine, straight out of the cow shed. We added some more solid dung later to give the mixture some body. I don't know about body, but it certainly has a smell.

We finished on the Friday and let it stew over the weekend. Now, anaerobic digesters usually take about a week to start producing, apparently, but we couldn't wait, so we had to have a test on Monday, and yes, it works.

For our next trick, we ar egoing to acquire funds to buy a twin ring gas burner so we can at last cook food for the children at  Twiga - but that's another story for another day.

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