Monday, 9 January 2012

Things are blowing up!!

The bag starting to blow up.. hehe
Some progress on the biogas!

Come December, we had enough gas to be able to cook 2-3 days of the week on the biogas stove. This is awesome actually, and because of that we are obviously saving on LPG usage for the regular stove.

The gas production is dependent on our own black water from one toilet, the dog poop from both of our dogs, so they also, and a 20 l bucket of cow manure slurry every 2nd week or so. The cow manure we are picking up in the street, but as soon as Kevin our pig starts to produce larger amounts of poop, I am sure we can cut out the cow manure.
Feel the burn...hehe

The flame from the biogas is actually so effective that we can cook a kettle of water for coffee in half the time it would usually take on the LPG stove.. Isn't that amazing??

But for this post we were cooking a stir-fry. And even this was cooked in less time. Jan is truly amazed every time we use the biogas, and its such a satisfaction knowing that is a green solution, and that it has not cost us anything to produce this gas.

Amazing stuff!
We have also acquired two biogas lantern/lamps, and a small generator. Our plan is to use all of these things for demonstration purposes as well as personal use. So in the mudroom extension will be like a second kitchen as well, but we will set it up in such a way that all the biogas utilities/tools are in the same place.. There will be a counter top for the two-plate stove, and above that the two lamps. Having the biogas is an integral part of greening up our home, and it will be great once we have completed this space, as we will be able to host open days for all and

We have already had an enquiry from Permaculture South Africa, which is run by Hazel Mugford, for a biogas reactor at their home, which they will be able to use personally as well as for course purposes. This is an exciting development for Jan, seeing as he might be able to host the course, and also be able to expand his services that way.. It will be the first permaculture offering of its kind, in the world!!

Isn't the blue flame pretty?
So in a manner of speaking we are pioneers in this area in South Africa, which is such an awesome achievement! Watch this space people!!


  1. Hi Nina,

    Good grief, I am only just reading this and am so ridiculously amazed I, I can't believe it. So let me get this straight.... There is a blue bag with umm, well, crap in it, which kinda ferments and makes methane, which you pump out of the bag in some way to a stove which you use to cook and boil stuff?

    Holy crap (I had to say it) that is totally brilliant. I cannot work out the logistics in my head right now on how you pump the gas, is is pressurized or does it just seep out but it totally brilliant!

    Well done.

    1. Lol... I was wondering when you would spot this post.. hahahaha...

      In short, its a digester. It works anaerobically, which means that little bacteria eat the "crap" we put in, and they actually fart the methane, that we use to cook and boil stuff as you put it. :) So we feed the digester (which in very simple terms is like a glorified cow stomach) every two weeks or so with a bucket of manure, or dog poo, or grass clippings.. and of course it gets fed everyday with our own black water..So the little bacteria have plenty of food to keep them busy. Sometimes we treat them with a small helping of old chip oil, of coffee grinds.

      We have a gas pump which we use to pump the gas up to the house seeing as the digester is lower than the house. The density of the methane is not the same as for say LPG, so there is no pressure on it, therefore we need the pump. :)

      We have been cooking on the biogas for the past two weeks since our regular gas stove is out of commission due to faulty internal wiring for the oven. What a blessing that we had a back-up system.. lol.

      You should follow the blog if you can, and want to.. we have some crazy stuff going on here! Thanks for reading.. Keep well down under! <3