Biogas in Africa

Project Methane Africa, Tanzania

KEYWORDS: Tanzania, sustainable development, environment, agriculture, biogas, Africa, renewable energy, biogas, economics, social

Project carried out in 2003 by DUCLOUS Jérôme and GUILLAUD Landry, 2 students of the EIGSI, School of engineers of La Rochelle. Their work is quite exceptional since the 2 students went to Tanzania to implement and help the realization of anaerobic digestion units within an NGO. A documentary film was also made.

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biogas Africa

Summary of the study

Tanzania is a country in East Africa whose political capital is Dodoma, in the center of the country. NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) have an essential role in improving the daily life and development of Tanzania since the government does not have the means to meet the needs of the population.

We did our technician internship with the MIGESADO team, one of the many NGOs in Dodoma. MIGESADO has been developing methanization and alternative energies for ten years throughout the Dodoma region. This project involves the manufacture of methanisers receiving organic matter and producing biogas (methane) and compost. MIGESADO has built more than 600 since its beginnings, as well as rainwater retention tanks, and artisanal cookers ... Concerning, originally, the owners of a few cows, the project is currently applied to human structures such as in some schools, prisons, administrations, businesses, etc.

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Methanization is a very old process that consists of transforming organic waste into gas and natural odorless compost. It is a renewable energy, without risk, applicable always and everywhere. MIGESADO was inspired by a methanizer model of Indian origin with several modifications linked to cultural and environmental differences.

During this internship, we discovered the importance of MIGESADO for the sustainable development of the Dodoma region. It is a real progress in the fields of agriculture, energy, environment and social.

From an environmental point of view, methane is a greenhouse gas produced naturally during the anaerobic process of transformation of organic matter. By burning it to consume it, it is transformed into CO2 which is 20 times less polluting. In addition, this use avoids deforestation, and therefore the impoverishment and non-use of the soil. Methanization also produces completely odorless compost, an excellent fertilizer and natural pesticide.

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From a social point of view, this process frees the women from the exhausting work, estimated at two hours a day, of cutting and transporting wood to their homes. At the same time, it is a real improvement in the quality of life, making it possible to cook quickly and without suffering from smoke.

From an economic point of view, the construction of a methanizer is expensive compared to the Tanzanian standard of living, but this investment is very profitable in the long term. Operating costs are practically zero since the raw material is made up of waste and the construction of hard materials ensures the longevity of the structure without maintenance costs.

Our internship began with the discovery of the MIGESADO project and the adaptation to the Tanzanian culture. We then participated in the technical improvement of the biogas plants and in the project communication.

Beyond this report and the corresponding defense, our project continues with the production of a video report presenting MIGESADO to our partners. We will then try to find new donors who will allow this necessary and ambitious project to continue.

bio-digester in Africa, Tanzania


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1) The complete biomethanization study in Africa in French
2) English Prospectus for promoting this technology in Tanzania
3) Project promotional film

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