Flexi Biogas BG5
Biogas International Limited
Flexi Biogas BG5 is a flexible above-ground system that produces biogas. It is portable and expandable. It runs on any biodegradable matter. It is a domestic model, it can supply sufficient cooking fuel for family of up to around 12 members. Flexi systems install in only a few hours and normally are operational within 7-10 days.
The market name of the BG5 model is Std Domestic.
Kenya (main market), Rwanda.
$650 (local price 61,000 Ksh, May 2016).
– Biogas can be used for lighting and cooking:
– – Cooking functionality reduces illness by sanitizing food. If the gas replaces kerosene it can improve indoor air quality and respiratory health.
– – Lighting functionality improves safety at night.
BG5 is a model that targets domestic use, and supply sufficient cooking fuel for Kenyan family of up to around 12 members. The product is suited to smallholder farmers because it is portable, affordable, easy to install, and simple to operate.
It also has the advantage that it can be set up quickly for places such as refugee camps.
Locally manufactured in Kenya. Small stock, so distribution and implementation can be done within hours of an order.
Biogas International Limited is the sole manufacturer.
All kits are inclusive of a Flexi Biogas system, all gas-line plumbing (up to 30 meters per kit) and fittings.
Training on “How it works” and “How to fix it” is included in the kit cost. Maintenance is also free.
Kits do not include transport, burners or other accessories. Initial aerobic bacteria or culture starter load is not included.
500 Flexi Biogas systems between 2011 and early 2014. It started as a pilot program launched by the IFAD. The IFAD intends to deploy about 1000 more systems over the course of 2014–2016.
Flexible above-ground system design. It includes four key parts: plastic input and output pipes, a reinforced plastic digester bag, plastic piping to transport biogas to home or storage, and a plastic greenhouse covering.
Digestor: 6m x 3.75m plastic bag made of PVC tarpaulin. High cost of good-quality plastic, increasing the price of fabrication.
Greenhouse Tunnel: Polyethylene plastic. Trapping heat and keeping the temperature between 25 and 36°C. During the day the tunnel captures solar radiation, increasing the temperature of the organic waste material (substrate) in the digester.
Pipeline: gas piped through a PVC tube of 15 meters connected to an appliance or piece of equipment such as a gas stove for cooking.
Ramtons Whirlwind Technology 501 Double Burner Stove.
Installation time: a few hours.
Cross-flow design: prevents overloading of the system and crusting (scum formation). This system does not require agitation.
Lightweight: 10 kg
Portable, capable of being transported on a bicycle or motorbike.
Flexi Biogas systems can run on any biodegradable matter – cow, pig, goat, sheep, rabbit or/and chicken dung, kitchen waste, market waste, grass, water hyacinth, farm weed and garden clipping.
Start up manure required: 1 ton
Process: Flexi Biogas systems perform anaerobic digestions. Anaerobic digestion is the breakdown of organic material by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen. It produces biogas, a methane-rich gas that also contains carbon dioxide with trace amounts of other gases; and digestate, a source of nutrients that can be used as a fertilizer. The digestion process begins with bacterial hydrolysis of the input material in order to break organic polymers into smaller molecules that finally become methane and carbon dioxide after acidogenesis and methanogenesis.
Technical schematic of a flexi-biogas system unit. (Source)
Free, provided by Flexi Biogas Solutions. Upon installation, users training on how to run and maintain the system, what does and what doesn’t, troubleshooting the system and how to solve hitches. Technical support to all the clients offer 24/7 via mobile phone and email.
1 year warranty on all components against manufacturers defects.
Apart from the digester envelope itself, all other components are “off-the-shelf” and are available for replacement in every hardware stores.
– Lifespan of at least 10 years. Lifespan can be enhanced by applying a sunscreen UV block solution every seven years.
– – Digestor plastic bag lasts at least 10 years.
– – Short life of greenhouse tunnel, requiring replacement every 5 years.
Flexi Biogas Solutions suggests that about 20 kg of fresh cow dung will yield 1,000 litres of cooking gas in the Flexi Biogas system.
Stomach content from slaughtered livestock is full pre-inoculated with the bacteria
and is perfect for starting and periodically boosting the system.
There are some dangers associated with biogas digesters: fire hazard, leaks and negative pressure, but since this is a small/ family size system the hazards are also lower.
Benjamin K. Sovacool, Matthew Kryman, Taylor Smith, Scaling and commercializing mobile biogas systems in Kenya: A qualitative pilot study. Renewable Energy, Volume 76, April 2015, Pages 115-125
Sehgal, K., Wanjihia D., Kembe M., Flexi Biogas systems: inexpensive, renewable energy for developing countries. IFAD, 2012 November.
– Extra devices include:
– – Stoves and ovens
– – Engines to drive generators, chaff cutters, posho mills, cattle sprays, etc
– – Fruit and Vegetable driers
– – Instant hot water systems
– – House warmers
– – Day-old chick brooders and incubators
Two other domestic models, DBG (market name Shosho) and BG6 (market name XL Domestic). The digestor capacity is respectively 3.3m3 and 8m3, the daily gas production 1-1.5m3 and 3-4m3 per day. The market price of DBG is $470. The market price for BG6 is $825, and this model has also the capacity for small farm energy requirements like chaff cutters, hammer mill, water pumps.
Expert advisors have indicated that flexible biogas plants are much cheaper than masonry plants, but have shorter lifetimes.
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