A biogasplant was constructed at primary school Les Cajoutiers to provide in 25 % of the needed energy to prepare hot mails every day for 500 pupils.

Situation

Les Cajoutiers is an organisation in Senegal that gives underprivileged children a chance for a better future by education, healthy nutrition, access to medical care and monitoring their home situation. To achieve these goals they founded a primary school in the small fishing village Warang where 500 children are being educated. The pupils receive daily a hot mail that was prepared by burning wood or butane. Since burning wood is very unhealthy for the kitchen staf and not very ecological and gas bottles are quite expensive the organisation was looking for a renewable energy source.

Biogas plant

During her bachelor thesis engineering student Inge Verboven considered all the possible renewable energy sources that could be used at the primary school. That research indicated biogas as the most suited energy source. Biogas is produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic waste called biomass. This process also produces a fertile digestate that can be used as a fertiliser for a garden. Since the limited amount of other organic waste present near the school, it was decided to build a biogas plant that would be connected to the toilets to collect human faeces as main component for the biomass. Since the beach of Warang is often littered with algae it was decided on site to also add these algae to the digester on regular bases. After designing the biogas plant Inge travelled to Warang to implant the installation in cooperation with the local community.

Visit Inge’s blog for a more detailed description of the biogas plant installation.

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