"Gas" to Gas: From Farm Waste to Renewable Energy

 
$10,480
$0
Raised
Remaining
Jul 20, 2011

The biodigesters are working!

Stove is ready for cooking!
Stove is ready for cooking!

In early July, EARTH University Agricultural Engineer Luis Carazo was able to visit the two farms in Guanacaste that we traveled to in March to install biodigesters. These biodigesters were installed to help these two families manage the animal waste generated through their cattle, pig, and goat operations.

At Gustavo Acevedo's farm, Luis found that improvements to the pig pen waste water collection had been made. Now, all water is chaneled and flows to the separator. This avoids an accumulation of dirty effluent around the pig pens and thus prevents the generation of bad odors and flies around the family dwelling.

In addition, the hose that transfers the biogas generated by the biodigester to the family's kitchen stove was connected and modifications were made to the stove to put burners in a position where they can be utilized for cooking. Furthermore, this stove will be used to pasteurize the milk that they will use to produce yogurt on the farm to maximize the use of the biogas produced on a daily basis.

At the second farm, a flexible metal fence was installed to keep the farm animals from getting into the biodigester ditch. Approximately one month prior to the visit, a goat on the farm pierced a part of the biodigester bag, which was hindering full use of the gas stove. Luis quickly repaired the hole in the biodigester during his visit and taught the family how to handle similar maintenance issues in the future.

Luis reports that both families are excited to see their biodigesters producing methane gas that can now be used for cooking and pasteurization of sellable farm goods.

Finally, all of us at EARTH University would like to thank all of our supporters. This project has been fully funded, and we look forward to being able to install dozens more biodigesters on local farms in Costa Rica. Thank you!!

May 2, 2011

A Model for Neighboring Farmers to Replicate

Installation Complete
Installation Complete

Here at EARTH University Foundation, we continue to be amazed at all of the support our project, “Gas” to Gas: From Farm Waste to Renewable Energy, has received. Thank you again for helping us bring unique solutions for farm waste pollution to families in Costa Rica!

As we updated you previously, in March one of our staff members traveled to the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica with a group of five volunteers from California to install two biodigesters and biogas kitchens on local farms.

Our second biodigester installation of the trip was done on Andrés Vargas’s family farm.  Vargas’s family earns income from their farm’s artisan cheese production, which is sold at the local market. The goal for the installation of this 8-meter long biodigester is the production of at least 5 hours of bio-gas each day that can be used to cook food and to pasteurize the dairy needed to make the cheese.

In order to keep up with the demand for their cheese, Vargas’s farm has many dairy cattle, which will provide manure aplenty to feed the biodigester! In addition, Vargas plans to open his farm to the community and other nearby neighbors to showcase his new sustainable technology. His hope is that his farm and the EARTH-installed biodigester will become a model by which others in the area can learn and easily replicate.

In the coming weeks, EARTH University staff will revisit both farms in Guanacaste to ensure that all systems are fully operational. EARTH students from our La Flor campus will also provide ongoing assistance to the farmers to maintain their new biodigesters.

Thank you again from all of us at EARTH!

Running piping to the house
Running piping to the house

Links:

Apr 13, 2011

EARTH's recent trip to install biodigesters in Guancaste

EARTH volunteers & staff with finished biodigester
EARTH volunteers & staff with finished biodigester

On behalf of all of us at EARTH University Foundation, thank you to all of our current donors! At the end of March one of our staff members traveled to the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica with a group of five volunteers from California to install two biodigesters and kitchens on local farms. EARTH University staff led the technical side of the trip, which proved to be quite impactful to the farmers who received the new biodigesters.

The first biodigester installation was done on Gustavo Acevedo’s family farm, which focuses on the production of milk and a small collection of pigs available for sale at the local market. The family’s main source of income is derived from selling dairy products. With the installation of the biodigester, which will treat farm waste and provide energy at a lower cost, they hope to begin producing yogurt, which is more costly and time-intensive to produce due to the pasteurization process required. Throughout the day, Gustavo and his sons, who live with their families on the farm, assisted the EARTH team and expressed much gratitude at the end of the day as everyone cooled off in the late afternoon shade.

The biodigester gas-production cycle takes approximately 30 days. By the end of April, EARTH staff will travel to Gustavo’s farm again to witness some of the inaugural cooking and pasteurization that will be done in their new kitchen. Thanks to your donations, Gustavo’s family will now pay less for fuel and will earn more income by being able to introduce yogurt as a new commercial product at the local market.

Thank you again, and please stay tuned for updates on our second biodigester installation!

Gustavo and sons help run gas piping to house
Gustavo and sons help run gas piping to house
Farm waste will be treated and turned into gas
Farm waste will be treated and turned into gas

Links:

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Project Leader

Michelle Hamner

Atlanta, Georgia United States

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