Rural Africans And Biogas For Home Use

In Ground Bio DigesterPhoto by: showmeone on Flickr

This is actually a pretty cool idea. I only recently discovered this blog and I’ve already fallen in love with it. The blog’s tag line says it all: “Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity.”

The particular problem I’ve highlighted here, is about getting clean fuel to your home for cooking. Apparently, there are huge amounts of cow dung available in Africa that people can convert into clean burning methane gas.

Talk about killing several birds with one stone. They get clean burning fuel, get rid of dung, plus stop chopping down trees for firewood all in one fell swoop.

I think that there are parts of South America where some of this same ingenuity can be applied, or even better, I’m sure there are some South American fixes to problems that the Africans haven’t figured out, yet.

Someone should invent a tool that lets people communicate instantaneously. Something like a worldwide web of computers interconnected with each other so people can share ideas across oceans and communicate.

Wouldn’t that be great?

Amplify’d from

You’d think that given the amount of cow dung available around rural Africa that biogas would be a big hit right? Well, its actually relatively unknown. The main reason is materials, coast and complicated technology. People in these areas use charcoal or wood for their domestic cooking needs – its not only dirty hard work to collect firewood, but it’s unhealthy and damages the environment. But, it’s free …

We believe that  biogas from cow dung holds huge promise for rural and urban areas as a cheap source of energy that can be turned into domestic use or even business anywhere in rural Kenya….eg. pasturizing milk, making yoghurt, running fridges, generators, hammer mills for grinding corn, cooking, baking, heating water, running machines… and reducing your carbon footprint.

I have recently become the latest guinea pig for Dominic Wanjihias experiments … and it has been quite a learning experience

Problem No. 1.The system needs to be cheap and mobile for communities who don’t own land or who move regularly (pastoralists)



Biodigester on a motorcycle

Biodigester on site

Messy work installing the biodigester

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Biogas powered flame!

2 Weeks after installing, bio gas!


Rafael is an aviation geek, a consumer advocate, a dad, a multiple personality blogger, a photographer, politically opinionated, a videographer and many other things as well.