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A new biogas plan in Haiti

The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January has meant a desperate lack of sanitation facilities but now Brazilian group Viva Rio is turning human excrement into biogas for use as fuel.

The Kay Nou camp in Port-au-Prince is one of many to have flourished in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since the earthquake. The camps are absorbing many of the estimated 1 million people made homeless by the quake.

Locals are invited to provide the raw material and in exchange they get biogas, water and fertiliser.

‘The first process is hydrolysis. The second process is a process of acidogenesis, acetogenesis. And the third process is methanogenesis which is a bacteria present in all beings with warm blood,’ Valmir Fachini, Viva Rio project manager explaisn. ‘Then the scission starts and the production of biogas starts. Because the biogas is lighter than air it comes at the top of the system, in the biodigester, and can be taken out right away to be used.’

The biodigesters produce 90% of water and 10% of bioenergy of which 70% is biogas and 30% is biomass.