A biodigester is a simple renewable energy resource that is largely overlooked. Mainly because it has two main componenets that people don’t like to talk about. Feces and methane. Over Thanksgiving my Uncle reminded me about digesters and how they can be a great source of alternative energy. Especially in rural environments, where livestock is kept.
The nice thing about a biodigester is that as long as you have plentiful water, the other main ingredient, you should be able to harvest the stored energy that is discarded by all living animals. Plus the solids that are removed after the digestion has occured makes great fertilizer. For working livestock farms the cost for a biodigester can be $250,000 or more depending on your stock and numbers, but then again having all your energy needs produced from something you need to get rid off anyway is a big plus since it can cost upto $200 per cow per year.
For those of us who are looking into a digester instead of composting a great article was found aboutBiodigester Design and Construction. It is from Rural Costa Rica.com and shows how to build our own personal digester as well as pointers on what is required daily. After looking into digesters, designs, output and input, it has to be seen as a viable option for personal as well as farm/ranch energy source.
Another plus is that even the solids have uses. From fertilizer for your crops, bedding for livestock, to plant pots, and now even flooring. Researchers at Michigan State University and the U.S.Department of Agriculture think that floors made from manure are the next big step. According to a news article from Discovery Channel on Feb 12, 2007 flooring made from these solids match or beat the quality of those made from sawdust. So who knows what else can be made from these solids.