Des vaches pour obtenir des kilowatts

Un ingénieur civil nigérien a adapté la technologie thaïlandaise qui transforme les déchets provenant du traitement du riz en biogaz pour transformer les déchets des abattoirs, en biogaz comprimé. Ainsi il évite non seulement la pollution des eaux mais encore il conserve le bois des arbres utilisé auparavant comme carburant.

(English version)

In Ibadan, Nigeria, tackling one problem led to solutions for many.

Dr. Joseph Adelegan, a civil engineer, teamed up with a community group, a Thai engineering company and a university to puzzle over the question of slaughterhouse waste. For years, The Bodija Market Abbattoir was polluting the local water that thousands of poor residents relied upon. The final destination for two thirds of the livestock from Nigeria’s Oyo State, the plant had been dumping its waste into the area’s rivers and lakes and sickening the community.  

There was a downside, however, of efforts to clean the water by building a conventional treatment plant: It would produce high levels of the greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide. Adelagano came up with the idea to put those emissions to use—to treat the waste and to harness the gases to serve local needs. 

Across the world in Thailand, a new biogas digester was being used to transform waste from rice processing and fruit canning into useable energy. Adelagano adapted the technology to develop his Cows to Kilowatts plant design. The plant uses a closed system of anaerobic reactors to transform the animal waste into compressed biogas that can be used for cooking in local homes.

This neat solution also eliminates the smoke pollution caused by the traditional burning of wood and charcoal for cooking, while also dramatically reducing the need to cut local trees. Finally, the sludge from the plant becomes a quality organic fertilizer.

Currently, an average of 1,000 cows a day are slaughtered at the plant and approximately 6,000 homes receive high quality inexpensive biogas. Adelagano says the plant will make back its investment and turn a profit by 2010. Funding from the Nigerian government and the UN is financing Cows to Kilowatts plants in six more Nigerian cities, as well as in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.