Despite the advancements in energy production and distribution, many of the developing countries’ rural areas still use wood or coal to fuel their kitchens. They don’t have access to microwave ovens or electric stoves and sometimes even gasoline ones for long periods of time. Many of these stoves and burners aren’t efficient, and they spread a lot of fumes in the ambient atmosphere. According to World Health Organization statistics, 4.3 million women and children die directly or indirectly as a result of these dangerous stoves and ovens. It is a severe problem and needs to be addressed on a priority basis.
An Israeli company aiming to overcome the fuel shortage in their Bedouin areas has improved existing technologies to make HomeBioGas; a family sized bio-digester. It is a sustainable and simple solution for the problems of these impoverished people. It uses an anaerobic process to convert biowaste like leftover food and waste into biogas that is a residual mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. This gas can be used in specially designed stoves, etc. to cook or provide heat with no unpleasant odors or residual gasses. Even the liquid left over at the end can be used as a fertilizer for crops.
The fundamental principles of the Biogas generators are simple. Microbes like Bacteria thrive in areas where there is no air and break down organic material into their components. One of the results of these reactions is Biogas that can be utilized very well. It is due to the result of years and years of underlying research from India and China that is now being put up to use by the Israeli company.
They want to market the populations of Africa, South America and South Asia with this new affordable technology. It can also serve as a process for waste disposal as many of these countries don’t have proper drainage and sewerage systems in backward areas. The HomeBioGas was first tested in a Bedouin community in Israel, and it is being retailed at 2,500$ per device. It could spell a revolution in the coming years with that price range.
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