There is a Chinese proverb, kan tian chi fan, literally meaning see sky eat rice. It illustrates the dependence on nature to provide food and energy. In this vein, our goal with Kantian is to make home energy usage more sustainable in rural communities. With our simple biogas digester kit, people in developing countries will decrease their dependence by supplementing traditional fuel sources like fire wood and kerosene with free methane gas. Our digester uses the simple process of anaerobic digestion to convert waste to methane gas in a closed container. By using waste products for gas production, the digester can be used to improve sanitation and peripherally address related health concerns.
Mike Rogers, Galaan Dafa
Stanford students interested in affordable design, renewable energy products and international development.
Using principles of extreme affordability design, our biogas digester provides a cheap and simple solution for rural, developing communities with marginal incomes. We hope to target rural areas in Africa and China who predominantly use kerosene or firewood as their primary energy source for cooking, and home heating. In particular, our efforts are focused on farming communities with significant animal waste byproduct. The simple, cement based, floating dome digester can be installed with relative ease by individuals in the community. Current estimates show that a 1.5 meter x 2 meter x 3 meter digester can produce enough gas for up to 6 hours of daily cooking needs. In addition, the digester effluence can be used as fertilizer. We’re aiming for an overall cost of about $150 dollars, providing a continual source of methane gas.
Digesters can supplement a significant portion of costly and non-renewable energy inputs with a virtually continuous source of methane gas from waste. The initial cost of the digester can be split amongst a community with long-term benefits. The installation of the product will be non-disruptive to a community, with overall low maintenance requirements. Given that we will be marketing to farming communities, the output of fertilizer will be another benefit to offset the fixed costs of the product. Methane gas combustion is a significantly cleaner fuel source than commonly used sources of home fuel. Overall, our product will provide a cheaper, cleaner, low maintenance source of fuel with an indefinite lifetime.
In addition to these direct economic savings, digester installations will be registered with an authorized renewable energy creditor, allowing American states and other countries to purchase the renewable energy credits from these projects, helping third parties meet their renewable energy standards in a comparatively low cost way.