Biogas as energy source
IF someone told Thomas Edison that the light bulb he invented can be lighted up using garbage, Edison would probably have laughed. But now it is no laughing matter as biogas from solid waste is indeed being used to power up lights and other appliances even in our country. It has been six months since the 100kW Biogas Pilot Power Plant was inaugurated in Cebu City. An upgrade of the Inawayan Waste Disposal Facility, the facility is designed to convert solid waste into an energy source. In fact, Philippine BIO-Sciences Co. Inc. (PhilBIO), the operator, has confirmed before that about half of the 400 metric tons of mixed solid waste taken here daily can be converted into biogas. The project has been touted to give added benefits: reduction of landfill mass, additional revenue for the city, and jobs for the people in the area. There are of course the environmental benefits of depending less on fossil fuels for energy needs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And before 2008 ends, the city government is planning to offer for bidding the bigger component of the Inawayan facility for a 10MW biogas-fed power plant. The energy generated will be used for the landfill facility. Iloilo has also been eyeing a similar project, eyeing the establishment of a biogas facility in Bacolod that could generate 350 kW of power, enough to light up a barangay. Closer to home, Payatas in Quezon City is also in on the biogas trend, after the Quezon City Controlled Disposal Facility was inaugurated recently in the famous dumpsite. Some 42,000MW of electricity is envisioned to be generated over a 10-year period in Payatas. And over at Magallanes Village in Makati, PhilBIO, in a project for Manila Water at the South Makati Sewage Treatment Works, will utilize microbial matter to reduce sewage sludge and create high quality biogas. Experts at PhilBIO believe that the methane gas to be recovered will be more than enough to provide electricity to the sewage treatment plant. So, yes indeed, there is power in garbage, and money in garbage too. With increasing garbage landfills all over, businesses dealing in solid waste-to-energy efforts remain viable while helping care for the environment.
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