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Biogas Plants in Animal Husbandry

Biogas plants have become something of a permanent fixture in Technical Cooperation between
the Federal Republic of Germany and partners in developing countries. Dating back to 1977, the
first such projects were incorporated into cooperative efforts with Indian and Ethiopian
organizations. At about the same time, the first GTZ project dealing solely with the transfer of
biogas technology and the construction of biogas plants was launched in Cameroon.
In the meantime, GTZ has assisted in building and commissioning several hundred biogas plants in
Asia, Africa, South and Central America. While most of the systems, in question are on a small
scale intended to supply family farms with energy and organic fertilizer, some large-scale systems
with the capacity to generate more than 100 m³ of biogas daily have been installed on large stock
farms and agroindustrial estates.
In general, biogas technology is for rural areas. In addition to generating energy, biogas systems
help stimulate ecologically beneficial closed-loop systems in the agricultural sector while serving to
improve soil quality and promote progress in animal husbandry. Consequently, the promotion of
biogas technology is regarded as an integral part of technical cooperation in rural areas and, hence,
as a key sector of development cooperation on the part of the Federal Republic of Germany.

A Chinese Biogas Manual: Popularising Technology in the Countryside

The production of biogas, which is regarded in many countries as a by-product of an efficient system of energy production, has become in China a comprehensive, controlled method of waste disposal, recycling resources, supplying energy and fertilizer and improving rural health, as the digesting of wastes in a closed container kills many of the pathogens responsible for common human diseases.

There are already approximately seven million biogas pits in operation, with Sichuan (Szechuan) province leading the country in a movement to extend the practice throughout the countryside. This manual describes in detail how to build the pit, and covers a full range of designs to suit various soils from sandstone to sheer rock. It also includes a description of how the original manual was used.

Uses diagrams and pictures to show how the basic design of the biogas pit can be adapted for construction in different soils, from sandstone to sheer rock, which should encourage other developing countries to embark on their own biogas programmes.