MBSA Biogas Plant
Mali Biocarburant SA (MBSA)
Biogas plant producing electricity for the decentralized oil extraction sites and surrounding rural communities using Jatropha nuts as a reliable fuel.
MBSA with a partnership with FACT Foundation Thesis by Kevin Chapon
Flexi Biogas, DESI power, Husk Power Systems, Simgas, Tanzania & TNO, TINY Tech biogas plant
Target users are farmers (mainly in Mali) with intent to help them acquire more food security and reliable income through sustainable agroforestry systems. MBSA is working with more than 4,000 small Jatropha farmers in three areas of Mali and two areas in Burkina Faso.
Manufacturing method is currently on a per demand basis.
Patented (Patent unknown)
MBSA supplies 3 regions of Mali and 2 regions in Burkina Faso.
To date, only 1 biogas plant has been implemented.
*Design and Components* Thesis by Kevin Chapon
• Plug flow type digester
• Main part is a fibre re-enforced PVC bag of 10 m^3 for anaerobic digestion
• Inlet/outlet dimensions: 110 mm PVC pipe
• Gas connection: 3/4″ thread
• Air input is aquarium pump injecting air in the bag through a small plastic hose
• Small plastic valve controls the air flow in the system
• Electricity supply for the pump is realized by a small PV system of 20W and a battery to store the electricity
• Condensation Trap
• Flow Meter
• Pressure release system with pressure meter
• Valves: 3 valves are added to the gas network to control the direction of the gas
• Connection to multifunction platform burner
The flat dimensions of the system are 7 x 2.6 m
Digester dimensions: 2.6m x 7.0 m
Training needs and support provided by MBSA staff
Sourced through MBSA foundation and manufacturing plants. MBSA understands and focuses on the need for simple replacements using in-country supplies. Thesis by Kevin Chapon
Testing of biogas input and performance and effectiveness of liquid/ solid separation for use as a fertilizer were conducted in 2011 by Kevin Chapon from AVANS Hogeschool working with MBSA and FACT – these are some of the findings:
• The hydraulic retention time of the system is set at 50 days so the daily input of feedstock is 1/50 of the digester volume.
• Wet mixture represents 6 m^3, so the daily input should be 120 liters
• The supply of the digester started with 35 kg of cattle dung associated to 55 liters of water during the first month. The amount of manure was decreased by 5 kg every two weeks while adding Jatropha press cake to the mixture. After two and a half months, the digester was supplied by 15 kg of manure and 8 kg of Jatropha press cake.
• The average daily biogas production is 2.71 m^3/day
Testing was done in 2011 on site in Mali (Koulikoro) with MBSA in association with FACT Foundation, a Dutch NGO. Thesis by Kevin Chapon
One of the by-products of the digester is hydrogen sulphide, a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs at a concentration up to 100 ppm Thesis by Kevin Chapon
Performance can be improved through better anaerobic digestion process, general system efficiencies improvements, incorporation of techniques and technologies to allow for various biofuel inputs, increasing biogas conversion rate, reducing water input and/or recovering some of the water through system recycling and re-use. Improving ways to recover and utilize biogas by-products (affluent) as a fertilizer can also lower operation costs, lower payback period and increase farmer’s income. As some power is also required for operation, connecting to a complementary and readily available source of power like solar pv can be very useful Thesis by Kevin Chapon
The most useful and relevant academic paper is by Kevin Chapon from Dutch AVANS School who did his thesis work with MBSA’s biogas system on separation of affluents for fertilizer use: Kevin Chapon, (2011). Utilisation of the effluent of a plug flow digester. Bachelor Environmental Technology & Management Final year project with FACT Foundation. Environmental Technology & Management, Avans University of Applied Science, Breda, Netherlands
As MBSA’s biogas systems are still under development there are no peer reviewed journals on their biogas system, however there are papers on general biofuel development in Mali and use of jatropha nuts that involve MBSA.
• W.M.J. Achten, W.H. Maes, R. Aerts, L. Verchot, A. Trabucco, E. Mathijs, V.P. Singh, B. Muys, (2010). Jatropha: From global hype to local opportunity. Journal of Arid Environments, Volume 74, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 164-165, ISSN 0140-1963.
• M. Basinger, J. Chen, F. Jeffrey-Coker, F. S. Rodriguez-Sanchez, T. Singer and V. Modi. (2012). Jatropha adoption: a statistical observational study of factors influencing Malian farmers’ decision to grow Jatropha. Agroforestry Systems, Springer Science, DOI: 10.1007/s10457-011-9426-z.
None specified by MBSA. FACT Foundation’s mandate is to develop biofuels in accordance with European quality standards Thesis by Kevin Chapon
Methods referenced in testing by Kevin Chapon (MBSA/ FACT) include comparing best drying technique of the affluent via passive solar radiation vs straw filtration, as well as comparison of traditional fertilizer performance with that of biogas by-products as fertilizer. Thesis by Kevin Chapon
It appears the biogas system is still in testing phase which explains the lack of data on technical and performance parameters.
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