Sistema Biobolsa BB4
Sistema Biobolsa BB4 is a pre-fabricated biodigester that converts daily farm waste waste into renewable energy and organic fertilizer. This technology generates a sustainable source of energy in the form of biogas, for household or farm use, reduces the need for fuels and chemical fertilizers, and creates an opportunity for the farmers to improve their agricultural production. The system also generates a potent, natural fertilizer, Biol.
The system is a batch flow, tubular, prefabricated, modular, flexible biodigester. The system is composed of pre-fabricated components in order to optimize packaging, transportation and easy installation. The system is easy to operate and maintain, and is ensured to have a long life.
Biogas displaces firewood and LPG; biol improves crop productivity for farmers that have limited to no access to fertilizer before.
Sistema Biobolsa is located in Mexico City, Mexico with additional operations throughout Latin America.
The main market is Mexico. Sistema Biobolsa is developing in Central America, with a main office in Nicaragua.
Pilot projects and expansion include projects in Honduras, Haiti, Cuba, Peru, as well as in India and East Africa.
The product is distributed by Sistema Biobolsa itself and a network of distributors in all the targeted regions in Mexico and Nicaragua.
The market price for the BB4 is in the range USD $600 to $1,000.
Sistema Biobolsa offers with Kiva a 0% interest loan. The payback time is estimated at 2.5 years.
The BB4 is targeting trained individuals and households who include high poverty farmers with subsistence agriculture. Average annual income of the target users is $2,500 USD.
The farmers should have less than 20 animals and 2 hectares of farmland to use BB4.
Watch videos of small producers.
The manual of biol explains how the farmers can prepare and use the biol as a crop fertilizer.
BB4 is manufactured in Mexico. Just in time manufacturing process. The digester is fabricated, so it forms the right shape when inflated by slurry and biogas.
The technology is patented.
As of July 2016, 1700 BB4s have been distributed so far. interview with manufacturer
The BB4 model is part of a larger program, with a range of biogas plant sizes from BB4 to BB200: total of +3000 units installed.
– – Biobolsa: Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) geomembrane of 1 to 1.5 mm thickness.
– – Tubes and assemblies: hydraulic and sanitary PVC.
– – Trench size: Length 6m; Width 1,10m; Depth 0,70m
– – Chamfer size: Depth 0,3m; Height 0,3m
– PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS
– – Half a day to manufacture
– – Made from recyclable waste
– – Wrapped in its own packaging, therefore zero waste.
– – Easily shipped
The biodigester receives the daily farm waste and the manure is mixed with water (1 part manure to 3 parts water).
Sistema Biobolsa 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.
There is included technical support provided by Sistema Biobolsa’s technicians:
– An initial diagnosis is made by the technicians.
– On the day of installation, there is an initial training on how to use the system and how to use biogas.
– After installation, there are three compulsory visits that include training.
-1 After 30 days, technical visit with a training on biogas.
-2 After 90 days, technical visit with a training on biol.
-3 After 180 days, technical visit with an evaluation of adoption and impact.
Sistema Biobolsa provides a replacement service. Certain products that may need replacement include lengths of hose, gas scrubbing units and household stoves.
The BB4 lasts over 15 years. The geo-membrane, tested in lab under UV radiations, has an estimated lifetime of 50 years.interview with manufacturer
There is 1 year warranty on any manufacturing defect. They also provide 20 year warranty on the geo-membrane.
Performance targets are established depending on the climate and the type of animal manure used.
The BB4 produces 1.4 m3, 0.9, 0.6 m3 for hot climate (>23°C), temperate climate (15°C to 22°C) and cold climate (<15°C) respectively.
Under temperate climate, the BB4 requires 24L and 16L of waste input for cow manure and other animals manure (pigs, goats, sheep, horses) respectively.
See the Sizing Tables
Sistema Biobolsa developed their own performance criteria. interview with manufacturer
Tested by the manufacturer.
Since extreme caution is necessary when working with biogas, farmers are strongly encouraged to put a fence around the system to restrict access. They also have to follow a process taught by Sistema Biobolsa. Adequate ventilation, appropriate precautions, good work practices, and adequate personal protective equipment will minimize the dangers associated with biogas.
 Smith R., Eaton A., Arshad H., Ricketts P., Global crowd funding to increase accessibility for small-scale biodigester projects. Boiling point. 2014;62:2-5.
 Garwood, A., Network for biodigesters in latin america and the caribbean: case studies and future recommendations. Inter-American Development Bank; 2010 Dec [cited 2015 Jul 20].
 Holm-Nielsen, J.B., Al Seadi, T., Oleskowicz-Popiel, P., The future of anaerobic digestion and biogas utilization. Bioresource technology. November 2009;100(22):5478-5484.
Sistema Biobolsa is a certified B-Corporation. Sistema also has the IS0 9001 certification.interview with manufacturer
Sistema Biobolsa developed their own criteria. They rely on traceability of each component from the manufacturing plant to field installation.interview with manufacturer
Variety of sizes, with larger systems that go up to a digester capacity of 200 m3. The two other best selling Sistema models are the BB16 and BB40.
BB16 is sold in the range USD 1,200 to 1,600; the system can be fed with human waste. The system targets farmers that own between 20 and 100 animals and between 2 and 7 hectares of farmland. The BB16 is for farmers that harvest for their own consumption and for selling on local markets, that produce and sell milk, cheese. Their average annual income is USD 4,500.
Sistema Biobolsa has won many awards and recognitions: Social Business of the year, 2010 Businesses in Development (BiD Network); Ashden Award Finalists 2010; Green Tech Challenge Finalists; 2nd place Iniciativa México 2011; International Development Exchange Grant; Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow; Echoing Green Finalists 2012; Fellow Ashoka, New Ventures México Negocio; Top 10 Entrepreneur of Latin America in 2012 by Univision; Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2014 Finalists.
Expert advisors have indicated that polyethylene, the main material, is cheap but has a short lifetime than other quality materials such as PVC (only the fittings are of PVC).
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