Check out the press release in The Eleutheran about the first bio-gas stove in The Bahamas installed at The Island School!
The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) are eager to celebrate the implementation of an innovative technology with the potential to revolutionize regional waste management, while enhancing energy independence and agricultural development. Last week, members of the facilities department teamed up with Island School students to install the first bio-gas burning stove in The Bahamas
Bio-gas is the usable energy created during the process of biodigestion, which processes organic waste into usable gas and nutrient rich fertilizer, uniquely addressing a number of local issues. With deep thanks to Derek Francis General Manager and Daron Lloyd, Sales Manager at Master Technicians in Nassau who donated the stove, Founder Chris Maxey proudly declared “Now we will literally be taking human waste and processing it into a safe and inexpensive form of energy that we can use to cook our food. And, we will be doing it all on-site, on our campus. What is more energy-independent than that?”
The organization’s renewable energy portfolio also Continue reading
Over the course of the last several weeks, Island School students spent time kayaking, experienced a hurricane, explored the majority of the island, and additionally, were able to gain intimate knowledge of many of the systems that make the campus run. Most notably, aquaponics, aquaculture, permaculture, and biodigestion were featured as Human Ecology modules during the kayak rotation. During the students’ time learning about biodigestion, they were asked to take a look at the ways Island School falls short of its goals of self sustainability and try to find some solutions. In doing so, students’ learned about the systems that support human life on campus, where waste comes from, how humans get energy, and how we can improve as a community. The focus of their work was mainly turning waste to energy, which led to some hands on work with the biodigestion system. Students learned about the anaerobic process, how biodigestion mimics natural systems, how renewable energy is generated by microbes, and eventually how to put that energy to use. After dinner circle on Wednesday, students ventured to the biodigester to check out some of the applications of biogas. They observed running the gas through a conventional burner system and explored possibilities for how this campus system could develop into the future. [slideshow]
Yesterday we visited a Bio-Gas plant that processed mostly straw into Bio-Gas. Just as straw is more difficult to process for animals than grains, it is also harder to produce Bio-Gas from than manure or sugar filled waste water from breweries. The molecules that make straw stiff also make the energy contained in the straw difficult for the bacteria in a Bio-Digester to access and convert to methane gas and carbon dioxide. This plant takes the straw and grinds it into a fine powder and then mixes this powder with warm water before feeding the mixture into a 500 cubic meter Bio-Digester. Grinding the straw makes it easier for the bacteria in the digester to break it down. The other unique thing about this plant is that they recycle the water used in the digester. The digested straw powder is separated from the water mechanically and the water is recycled through the system. This also maintains a steady population of bacteria in the system and eliminates the need for mixing of the digester contents.
This project’s startup was subsidized by the government and encourages farmers in this semi- rural community to transport their waste straw to the plant instead of burning it by offering them bio- gas at production cost. Continue reading