Biogas methane digester project

(Larry G) #61

Well, our joint goal is to move out into the Columbia Gorge onto 30-100 acres and start a vineyard/winery. I will supplement that with permaculture farming, possibly on a community supported agriculture model.

At that point, making biodiesel and methane on a practical, usable scale becomes feasible and affordable. Learning some lessons now will probably help smooth out that process. Once I have enough space to put all functions into their place, it doesn’t have to look ugly- in fact it’ll be important that it doesn’t, because we will certainly be marketing our farm directly to people from the city who like things to look neat and tidy.

Between agritourism and specialization, it should be something solid we can do well into retirement age and make a decent enough living from it to get out of the 9-5 rat race.

(Chris) #62

Looking good. I’m going to need to look into this a little more. I’ll just put it on my list of 20,000 other things to research. :memo:

(Larry G) #63

Was looking around over the weekend for a housing for my H2S filter. I settled on a flat rectangular clear plastic water container from Walmart with a fill cap on top and a spigot at the bottom. I am expecting significant moisture deposition as the biogas exits the warm digester towards gas storage and I want a way to drain it without taking apart the filter. Thus the spigot at the bottom. I’m also going to put some red rock landscaping rocks in the bottom to keep my steel wool out of the liquid.

Costs- the container was about $5, steel wool $2.97/pack x QTY 4.


Small-scale digester article for home and garden…

pdf… Pages 6 & 7


Orignal url please. When blowing the png up, the writing all fuzzed out to be unreadable.



It requires Flash plugin. Not going to do that.


pdf… Pages 6 and 7


This search turned up some good leads (and some bad ones, read the ones that interest you and ignore the rest).


@thebastidge , i still have my ears open for your progress reports!



What you’re describing sounds like something used in industrial/pneumatic power. Compressed (ambient) air usually contains water (unless you’re sandblasting out in Death Valley.)

So downstream of the compressor, there’s a widget that uses a coalescing filter to make most of the droplets of water join together and fall to the bottom, where the water can be bled off through a valve. The fancy ones have a sensor for sufficient water, with an automatic valve. If the trade name comes to me (after more coffee), I’ll post a follow up.

I also appreciate that you’re building, experimenting and telling us about costs. Good stuff!


An url on growing tomatoes from digester output.,%20Jaquelyn%20Final.pdf


Cognitive dissonance thought… Since people are so morbidly horrified about using treated sewage as fertilizer for people food, screen the digester effluent and compost the solids, and grow duckweed with the liquids. Feed the duckweed to fish in an aquaponics setup, compost those solids and run the liquid out to the grow-beds. Compost can be used to fertilize plants using ‘soil’, even if it’s just putting nutrients and organic matter into sand, in a container… Some plants will actually grow better that way, than with aquaponics/hydroponics, as well…

(Chris) #74

People fear what they don’t understand and often don’t want to take the time to understand.


Still doesn’t make sense… Afraid of treated waste, but not afraid to eat stuff grown with untreated fish waste…


What brought that up?

Especially carrots, radishes, potatoes, peanuts, virtually any root crop, i imagine. Besides that, how would you have a hydroponic yard for chickens, rabbits, and human children?

Oh that’s just a matter of humans being not suseptable to fish diseases, vs catching a human disease from the human waste. However fish are suseptable to human diseases, and can give them back to humans. Ditto all the drugs the humans excrete, being put into the general food supply via the fertiliser.


Just stuff I came across that reminded me. As for the fear of human diseases, when you consider the specification for the waste being treated, which is generally meant as to a lab-standard of no detectable levels of harmful organisms, then it doesn’t really make any sense to be afraid to utilize the effluent to grow the root-end of vegetables, while, in general, the solution does not come into contact with the edible portion, anyway…


I’m not disagreeing with you, just adding data. Different plants have varying degrees of success in different grow methods, such as suspended mist, hanging root flood (mats, generally), root flood in inert media (coconut balls, clay balls, etc), and plain dirt or mulched sand (as you said).

I was highly interested in visiting the Disney Orlando aquaponics gardens, and disappointed when i heard they were shut down. I bet they charge a fortune for their accumulated plant grow database.

I am also thinking that if the majority of plants need the mulched sand, and so do the “rain water filter bed and rabbit and children play yards”, then standardising on that vs having 3 or 4 different grow methods might be easier? Just thinking that most of the hardware in hydroponics grow floats is plastic, including the water beds, and it’s in sunlight UV degrading, it’s just easier to contain sand, and the water won’t slosh out of the sand.

I am not against hydroponics/aquaponics, just saying that i’ll have some dirt on my place in addition to any other grow methods.

Just to append the bad side of the coin, what you may be up against… One town i lived in, the humans on the town water supply all got dysentery two days after the first heavy spring rains, every year, for decades, and no one knew why, until CDC pointed out all the cow manure washed off the pastures into the intake water, which was passing all the tests supposedly used. There was a forest i occasionally drove by somewhere else, seems someone made a huge political contribution to get a bill passed so they could spray hog sewage on the forest several times a week, and the stench in local residential areas was worse than the cattle feedlots in Kansas. People tend to develop emotional gut reactions, irrational even, and will oppose having their food supply dosed with waste, however cleaned, purified, composted, irradiated, treated, etc… Remember how many tons of salad produce were recalled one year when some farm laborers shat in the fields, and people in several states got sick?

(Alexander Tomasik) #79

Are these parts 3d printable, or could you make molds via 3d printing? Also do you think it’d be feasible to have a floating structure as a bio-waste processing center, where floaters deposit waste and receive fuel?


Any number of ways to make a digester, the various parts, hydroponics trays, etc. Just a matter of doing so.

IMHO, having a seperate facility is actually going to be a serious problem. Think of it like the problem with Tar Sands Oil tankers on trains, that inevitably will have accidents and spills. The sewage treatment needs to be integral to each facility, so that there is minimal chance of spewing raw sewage into your local environment. A flexing connection is one jolt away from bursting that sewage line… Not a pretty picture…