The main objective of this assignment is to select the most suitable and appropriate digester type for the proposed Biogas Pilot Project in Lao PDR, to prepare quantity and cost estimation of the selected model, to develop training materials, and to formulate a training programme.
Based on the above mentioned criteria, the following models have been selected for in-depth analysis:
• Chinese fix-dome model being installed in Laos under Chinese grant aid
• Vietnam Model (KT2A) being disseminated by Biogas Programme supported by SNV
• Cambodian Farmer's Friend Model (Modification of Indian Farmer's Friend Model) being
disseminated by National Biodigester Programme, Cambodia supported by SNV
• Nepalese GGC Model being installed under the framework of BSP-Nepal supported by SNV
• Model constructed in Laos under the framework of Canada-Thailand Trilateral Environment Subproject popularly known as Lao-GTZ model.
The following factors have been considered for evaluating the biodigesters under the study, assuming that the suitability of any biodigester in a given context depends mainly upon these factors:
• Climatic and geo-physical parameters
• Technological Parameters
• Affordability of potential farmers to install biodigester
• Purpose of the use of the biodigester products
• Performance of existing models, if any, in the local and/or regional conditions
• Quality and quantity of available feeding materials.
The report contains an evaluation matrix, and concludes that the GGC model being disseminated under the Biogas Programme in Nepal is the most suitable plant model for mass dissemination in Lao PDR.
The main barriers in the marketing of biodigesters in Laos are the cost price and the existence of farmers with sufficient collectable manure. Besides, observations at the households learn that often the digesters are under-fed due to laziness and or due to the fact that people just need less gas - as the preferred fuel is partly still charcoal.
In this light a trial with the 3m3 sized digester has been started early 2012 with the objective to reduce the cost and to align actual feeding patterns and cooking needs. A 3m3 sized digester was designed based on the current ‘Lao Netherlands’ (fixed-dome model derived from Nepal) and aimed for households who can only collect dung less than 15 kg/day and can combine the feeding with kitchen craps or with an agriculture residual.
The construction period took 5-6 days, compared to 6-8 for a 4m3. This saves in labour costs and cost of construction materials. The combination among animal’s dung and agriculture residual for daily feeding seemed to improve gas production. Advantage of the mini digester: reduced the workload of the household and mason; reduction in costs; this digester is suitable for (poorer) families with less livestock; no need of a large area to construct. Disadvantage is: not feasible for the household who cook more than 3 hour a day. Suggestions are provided, for example when feeding agriculture residues there’s a need of a larger sized inlet pipe due to the flow of those materials.