PRODUCTION OF BIOGAS USING COW DUNG
FROM NKANU IN ENUGU EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE
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Biogas originates from bacteria in the process of biological breakdown of organic material under anaerobic conditions. The demand, high costs and health implications of using energy derived from hydrocarbon compound have necessitated the continuous search for alternative source of energy. Cow dung as a renewable source of energy supply has been proven to be very efficient. This study investigated the production of biogas using cow dung from Nkanu in Enugu East Local Government Area, Enugu state. A 2ml/g of the cow dung was used in this study. The digestion was carried out in a 10 L anaerobic digester at a temperature of 250C to 300 C and uncontrolled pH for a period of 3 weeks. About 23cm3 of biogas was produced on the 22nd day. Thus biogas production from cow dung is a good and cheap alternative source of energy. The use of biogas will not only serve as a source of fuel but will also help in the management of waste. The biomass generated after digestion can be used both as animal feed and to improve soil fertility. It is therefore recommended that large scale production of biogas from wastes should be undertaken by all as the wastes around you today can become your wealth tomorrow.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Fossil fuel provides the bulk of the world’s primary source of energy. Since they are non-renewable natural resources with little to conserve the earth’s supply, supplies of fossil fuel (especially oil and gas) may soon get completely depleted. Additionally, the rising cost of petroleum and allied products most especially in Nigeria has triggered a need to develop alternate sources of energy, one of which is biogas production. In Nigeria, majority of the population are rural dwellers without access to gas or electricity and therefore depend on firewood for cooking and lightening. Unfortunately, this has contributed immensely to the rapid rate of deforestation and desert encroachment. The establishment of biogas plants in these communities would greatly ameliorate these problems and help preserve the environment.
Biogas is distinct from other renewable energy source such as solar energy, wind energy, thermal and hydro sources of energy because of its characteristics of using controlling and collecting organic waste and at the same time producing fertilizer and water for use in agricultural irrigation. Anaerobic digestion process produces a higher biogas yield when running on a mixture of animal manure and vegetable/crop waste rather than animal manure alone, and biogas production is considered the most suitable bio energy technology in china (Wu CZ et al 2009). The slurry and residues from the biogas process can also be used as an organic fertilizer to replace the use of chemical fertilizer on the farm (HUGO 2008; Zhou Cx et al 2004; Liu y et al 2008 and chem. RJ 2007).
The composition of biogas is typically methane (50-70%), carbon-dioxide (30-40%) and the rest is made up of traces of elements of hydrogen sulphide. Biogas can be used in gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat. Biogas is characterized based on its chemical composition and the physical characteristics which result from it. It is primarily a mixture of methane (CH4) and inert carbonic gas (CO2). However the name ‘biogas’ gathers a large variety of gases resulting from specific treatment processes, starting from various organic waste-industries, animals or domestic organic waste etc.
Different sources of production lead to different specific compositions. The presence of H2S or CO2 and water make biogas very corrosive and require the use of adapted materials. The composition of a gas issue from a digester depends on the substrate, of its organic matter load, and the feeding rate of the digester. According to its composition, biogas presents characteristics for comparison with natural gas propane. Biogas is a gas appreciably lighter than air, it produces twice as less calories by combustion with equal volume of natural gas.
The use of fossil fuels as primary energy source has led to global climate change, environmental degradation and human health problems. Also, improper waste management is one of the major problems confronting every development. This is because increase in industrial, commercial, agricultural and environmental activities has resulted in the generation of large quantities of wastes. These wastes, when not properly managed contribute to unhygienic environmental conditions that breed pathogenic microorganisms. Apart from the health implications, wastes make an environment unpleasant and unattractive. However, these wastes can be managed properly by conversion into useful and more environment friendly forms called biogases. Biogas typically refers to a gas produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. It is a renewable energy source, like solar and wind energy. Furthermore, biogas can be produced from regionally available raw materials and recycled waste and it is environment friendly and carbon IV oxide (CO2) neutral. Biogas is produced by the anaerobic digestion or fermentation of biodegradable materials such as manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and crops.
Recently, large volume of cow dung generated from feedlot farming increases annually, most of which are disposed into landfills or are applied to the land without treatment. Anaerobic digestion provides an alternative option for energy recovery and waste treatment. In this paper, cow dung was assessed for the use of anaerobic digestion with the objectives of treating the dung waste to decrease disposal costs and to generate biogas. The biogas produced contains mainly methane and carbon dioxide, and can be used as a source of renewable energy. The aim of this paper was to investigate the effectiveness and the performance characteristics of anaerobic digestion of cow dung for biogas production in batch and semi-continuous operation.
Renewable energy resources appear to be one of the efficient solutions to the problems resulting from the use of fossil fuels. Livestock waste management in many parts of the world is a big challenge which if not properly taken care of can cause a lot of health/environmental problems. Large volumes of cow dung generated from feed lot farming is on the increase, most of which are disposed into landfills or applied to the land without treatment. Animal wastes are abundant all over the world with Nigeria producing about 227,500 tons of fresh waste each day, that 1kg of fresh animal waste produce about 0.03m3 of gas per day. This shows theoretically that Nigeria can produce 6.8 million M3 of biogas daily, which in terms of energy is equivalent to about 3.9 million liters of petroleum. The use of biogas is capable of providing a special impetus in both rural and urban areas. Biogas plant can be built by using materials which are locally available in most developing countries like Nigeria. Nigeria is tremendously blessed with a variety of energy resources (both conventional and non-conventional). The reserves for animal waste alone which is a viable source for biogas production as at 2005 was estimated to be 61.00 million tonnes/yr and crop residue was put at 83.00 million tonnes/yr. However, 50 and 400 MW of electricity is targeted to be generated from biomass by 2015 and 2025 respectively.
Biogas is a renewable, alternative and sustainable form of energy. Not only does biogas technology help to produce an alternative energy source, but it also helps in maintaining the environment and improving health conditions. The energy in plant vegetation, animals, industrial and domestic waste matter can be released in terms of a useful gas when fermented anaerobically, that is, in the absence of oxygen. The biogas formed after the decomposition of organic wastes is channeled or transported to homes for use for cooking, running engines, electrical power generation and heating, with virtually little or no pollution at all. This gas is now used in large scale in many countries. The use of anaerobic digestion as waste-to-energy technology has been employed in the treatment of different organic wastes. This method when used on organic material produces compound like methane, CO2, ammonia, traces of gases, and organic acid of low molecular weight. Ignorance about this technology has made majority of people in the developing countries mainly depend on solid fuel like wood, to meet their cooking and light needs.
Nowadays fossils-based fuel is becoming scarce and more expensive, thus the need to resort to the use of biogas as a more efficient supplement. In this study, biogas production was investigated using cow dung. There was a significant yield of biogas observed in this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, the use of wastes from organic matter, though important, has been relegated to the background. There are abundant agricultural residues and municipal solid wastes, whose potentials are yet to be fully tapped for energy generation. The possibility of using such wastes for biogas production should be explored. The raw materials used in commercial methane generation include plant residues, animal waste like cow dung and various urban wastes which are available in Nigeria.
Against this background, this paper appraises insights on environmental and public health implications arising from improper disposal of animal wastes and a comprehensive description of anaerobic digestion of these animal wastes as a means of resolving the ills; with emphasis on types of bio-digesters, microbial communities engaged in the process and techniques for their identification as well as factors affecting the digestion process.
The two enormous problems that are increasingly threatening the good life of many nations include the task of waste management and inadequacy of energy supply. A nation’s inability to dispose waste and to find enough energy greatly affects living conditions. The problem of fuel scarcity and sewage disposal in Nigeria and many developing countries is alarming. Energy generated from waste is therefore needful as it will serve the dual purpose of cleaning the environment and providing a cheaper source of energy. The aim of this research was to investigate the possibility of biogas production from a cheap raw material (cow dung) using a laboratory scale digester.
Without any further argument, the current disposal system for agricultural waste has created a negative effect through disease and pollution problems. The search for alternative sources of energy such as biogas from waste materials like kitchen waste, when increased would help in the elimination and control of deforestation and soil erosion. It should be noted that the development of biogas does not eliminate waste but it makes them easier to manage.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
The importance of biogas as alternative source of energy cannot be over emphasised. It is a sustainable, more environmentally friendly and cheaper source of energy. Henceforth, the researcher want do determine the anaerobic digestion of cow dung for the synthesis of biogas.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The most important initial issue when considering the application of anaerobic digestion systems is the feedstock to the process. Almost any organic material can be processed with anaerobic digestion; however, if biogas production is the aim, the level of putrescibility is the key factor in its successful application. The more putrescible (digestible) the material, the higher the gas yields possible from the system.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Anaerobic digestion: Anaerobic digestion is a biological process making it possible to degrade organic matter by producing biogas which is a renewable energy source and a sludge used as fertilizer. The production of biogas is carried out in the environment in a natural way (e.g. gas of marshes – vegetable and animal matter decomposition where the formation of bubbles at water surface can be observed).
Anaerobic: life of activity in an airless environment.
Anaerobic Bacteria: microbes whose metabolisms require the absence of free oxygen.
Biogas: a gaseous product of anearobic digestion that primarily consists of methane and carbon dioxide.
Biomethane: This is virtually identical to natural gas, the main difference being that it is produced in days, rather than taking millions of years, billions of years ago.
Digester: the sealed tank or container in which the biological requirements of anaerobic digestion are controlled to hasten digestion and optimize biogas production.
Manure: Animal feces and urine, wasted feed, bedding, and anti-slip material from the barn and yard.
PRODUCTION OF BIOGAS USING COW DUNG