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The school would like to construct a biodigester that will handle waste from the animals and humans effectively which will greatly assist the school in waste disposal and management. It will also be a source of methane gas, which will be tapped to the kitchen and thus save costs on fuel as well as save the environment by preserving trees that would have otherwise been cut down for firewood.

The manure produced as a by-product will be used on the school farm and to increase farm yield, thus, strengthening the school’s vision of sustainability, which seeks to increase efficiency in land and soil productivity. Food produced will be healthy for consumption, having been produced by using organic fertilizers. This method of farming will also conserve environment through preservation of soil structure, which chemical fertilizers leads to exhaustion.

The Digestion Process

When people eat food, the food passes through their digestive system. The food material that the body does not use is expelled from the body in the form of urine, feces and gas. A critical part of digestion in animals is done by microbes. Some of the microbes in digestive systems and in nature produce a gas, methane, as a waste product.

What is a Biodigester?

A biodigester uses bacteria to break down wet organic matter like animal dung, human sewage or food waste. This produces biogas, which is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, and also a semi-solid residue in a process called anaerobic fermentation. Anaerobic means the micro-organisms digest the food in the absence of oxygen. There are several kinds of microbes at work. Some break the food into simpler molecules of sugars and acids. Other microbes, which find oxygen toxic, are able to break down the simple organic matter to form gases, including the burnable gas methane.

Methane, the main chemical in natural gas, is trapped and can then be burned for cooking, heating and generating electricity. Leftover organic solid waste can be used as fertilizer, a soil supplement or further composted.

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