Kenyan students design biowaste reactor to harvest dormitory waste

Kenyan students in a dormitory photo
Video screen capture Makeshift

Biogas digesters are a great way to turn food waste, human and animal waste, and pretty much anything that rots into useable power. They're useful anywhere—diverting valuable organic matter away from landfills, reducing methane emissions, and replacing fossil fuels with a renewable alternative. (They also create a bi-product that's great for fertilizing the fields.)

In regions where access to modern sanitation systems and a reliable power grid can be a challenge, biogas digesters really come into their own. Take high schooler Leroy Mwasaru, from Maseno, Kenya, who is working with fellow high schoolers to design a human waste biogas digester to help process waste from a 720 student dormitory at Maseno School.

Currently, their design is at prototype phase—utilizing food waste, cow dung and other organic matter to feed the microbes that generate the gas. But when they scale up their designs for the dormitory-sized reactor, the students hope to make a significant dent in the schools $900 p/m firewood bill.

This, by the way, is another inspiring video from Makeshift—the same folks who brought us the story of Peruvian farmers harvesting fog for irrigation. For anyone wanting to try this at home, check out our previous posts on making DIY Biogas digesters.

Tags: Alternative Energy | Biofuels | Renewable Energy

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