“Cows to Kilowatts”? The relation between cows and electricity is not quite obvious at first sight. Would you like to be taught otherwise and to find out about a technology that solves several problems at once?
Alone in Ibadan, Nigeria’s second largest city, about 1,000 cows are slaughtered on the bustling Bodija Market every day. Since the regulations for abattoir waste discharge are poorly enforced, the resulting waste from the slaughtering process ends up in open drains, often percolating into groundwater. The polluted water poses a serious problem not only for the environment but also for the population: the degradation of waste water generates methane gas and carbon dioxide, two major substances responsible for the acceleration of climate change. Moreover, slaughterhouse waste is regarded as high-risk-material, increasing the incidence rate for the surrounding communities.
The engineer Dr. Joseph Adelegan, together with the Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research (GNEEDR) and other Nigerian organizations has come up with an innovative solution, aptly called “Cows to Kilowatts”: A bioreactor converts abattoir waste into clean energy and organic fertilizer. In a first step, the reactor converts the slaughterhouse waste into methane which is then used to generate electricity or low-cost cooking fuel. Secondly, the reactor’s sludge is transformed into an environment friendly fertilizer, sold to low-income farmers at a reduced price, providing a cheaper alternative to the chemical fertilizer.
Dr. Joseph Adelegan and the organizations involved in the project managed to slow greenhouse gas and water pollution, providing affordable electricity and organic fertilizer at the same time. The numbers speak for themselves: one reactor can provide biogas for 5,400 cylinders of cooking gas per month. And to return to the cows: The plant can either produce 1.8l of fuel per cow or 0.5MW of electricity. Quite an obvious relation between cows and clean energy…
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