Biomass and biogas information

Posted on October 11th, 2010 by

During the question and answer session following Bina Agarwal’s talk at Noble Conference 46, several audience questions asked for more resources about biomass stoves in mentioned during her talk. As promised by the moderator, here are several links to websites that will serve as a good introduction to these topics.

First, a good primer on wood fuel with a particular emphasis on developing countries. This is from an organization called Journey to Forever.

And here is a link to a 2009 Worldwatch announcement of an Indian government program to increase the use of improved stoves.

For the engineering crowd, here is a report on the development and testing of a dung burning stove (testing by an Oregon based organization but for the Indian context–globalization at work).

Biogas digesters (aka anaerobic digesters) use bacteria to convert organic waste into biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide) which can then be burned more cleaning than wood or dung. Here is a student thesis about biogas applications in India.

Here is the presentation on large and small biogas efforts in India.

While these links focus on applications in developing countries, these topics are pertinent closer to St. Peter. Audience members who attended the Tuesday evening panel discussion at the Nobel Conference heard Mitch Davis from Davisco International mention the anaerobic digester at one of their industrial dairy facilities. That digester creates methane gas from the cow manure and then uses that gas to generate electricity.

A little farther from St. Peter, but still close by, the District Energy St. Paul burns wood waste from Twin City metro area trees to generate electricity and to heat buildings in downtown St. Paul, MN.

Biomass stoves and biogas digesters not only help provide energy for cooking food and other energy intensive chores they support food production by providing ways to capture and store solar energy, and recycle nutrients taken up by the plants.


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