Report: Design of small scale anaerobic digesters for application in rural developing countries

Laurel E Rowse - University of South Florida, November 2011 

The high incidence of upper respiratory diseases, contamination of waterways due to pathogens and nutrients from human and animal wastes, unsustainable deforestation, gender disparities in burden of disease due to unequal exposure to indoor air pollutants, and carbon black emissions from the burning of solid fuels are interrelated problems in many developing countries. Small scale anaerobic digestion provides a means of alleviating these problems by treating livestock waste onsite to produce biogas (methane and carbon dioxide) in rural areas in developing countries. Fuel can then be used for cooking, lighting, and heating. Methane fuel is an alternative to traditional three-stone fires, improved cook stoves, and liquid petroleum gas. However, there is a lack of information available on design methods for these systems. The goal of this research was to develop a design tool that could be used for anaerobic digester sizing based on livestock waste availability.

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