The Biogas Milk Chiller provides off-grid biogas-powered milk cooling on-farm, allowing smallholder dairy farmers without access to electricity to store, deliver, and sell the highest possible quality of raw milk and increase their income. The Biogas Milk Chiller is capable of cooling between 2.5 and 10 Liters from 35ºC to 4ºC within 3 hours, meeting international standards.
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
SimGas has partnered with BoPInc, Mueller and SNV on the Biogas Milk Chiller project. Organizations such as EEP, OFID, Powering agriculture, USAID, BMZ, Sida, OPIC, Duke Energy, Ideo.org and ASME are supporting the project.
This product is currently in the prototyping phase and not yet manufactured at scale.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Distributions to Date Status
Storage capacity (L)
Time to cool (hr)
Cooling retention (hr)
Minimum internal temperature (°C)
Materials of construction
Protection from insect entry
Refrigeration cycle catalyst
The milk chiller is powered by biogas and has a cooling capacity between 2.5 and 10 L of milk. The chiller can cool milk from 35ºC to 7ºC within 4 hours. The chiller can receive biogas from any domestic anaerobic digester. The chiller uses absorption cooling technology, where heat from the biogas combustion is used to charge the system.
SimGas representative. Interview with representative.
Unknown. However, this product comes with a 2 year warranty.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
- Cools 7x faster than a household refrigerator (meeting International standards) at farm level
- Clean energy - biogas - is produced and used to power the milk chiller.
- Works independently from the grid: it always works.
- Saves time: instead of delivering milk twice a day, small dairy farmers can deliver once a day.
- Helps small dairy farmers to meet quality standards required to access the formal sector, which increases their income, increases milk supply and thereby ensures food security.
- Supports the transformation of the smallholder dairy sector in emerging markets from quantity- to quality-based performance, as milk cooling at farm level significantly increases milk quality.
- Part of an integral, self-sustaining system: cows produce manure, which is fed into a biogas digester where it is converted into biogas and slurry. Biogas is used for cooking, cooling and other appliances. Slurry is used as high-quality organic fertiliser, increasing crop and cow fodder production, manure production, milk production, and ultimately income. Meanwhile, biogas reduces carbon emissions with 5-10 metric ton CO2-equivalent per user per year.
- Cooling at farm level will result in benefits to the dairy cooperatives and dairy processors.
Vetted Performance Status
SimGas’ R&D team tested 4 prototypes at 4 dairy farmers in Tanzania which demonstrated that the BMC complies with the international milk cooling standard: cooling raw milk down from 35 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius within 3 hours’ time.
Biogas is primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide, which pose safety concerns if inhaled. Other safety concerns include explosion, asphyxiation, disease, and hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
Complementary Technical Systems
Simgas provides a variety of biogas systems that are fully integrated into farm solutions for rural households in developing countries.
Academic Research and References
Seybolt, E., Zhong, C., 2017. Design report on SimGas’ Biogas Milk Chiller: Challenges with applying sustainability and usability when developing for the East-African market from a small company in Europe. Kth Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Edwin, M., Sekhar, S.J., 2015. Thermal performance of milk chilling units in remote villages working with the combination of biomass, biogas and solar energies. Energy, 91, pp. 842-851.
Edwin, M., Sekhar, S.J., 2014. Techno-economic studies on hybrid energy based cooling system for milk preservation in isolated regions. Energy conversion and management, 86, pp. 1023-1030.
Dijkink, B., Esveld, E., Broeze, J., Axmann, H., Vollebregt, M., 2019. Effects of milk cooling: A case study on milk supply chain for a factory in Ethiopia. CCAFS Working Paper No. 288, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Compliance with regulations