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Biogas technology and integrated development
Practical Action
Main features of this project are:
networking and institutional development / strengthening.
promotion and extension.
construction of demonstration projects.
research & development.
Although several institutions have been active in the field of biogas
development in Sri Lanka, they were working largely in isolation, at times with
overlapping activities. Practical Action South Asia recognised the need to bring
about inter-institutional collaboration so as to benefit from the strengths of each
institution in promoting the technology. Over the last three years, the project
collaborated with the following institutions:
NERD Centre1
This is a pioneer research organisation in Sri Lanka that is responsible the
development of the Sri Lankan Dry Batch Biogas unit. This innovation received
a silver medal in an international exhibition for environmentally friendly
innovative processes (24E Salon International des inventiona, Geneva 1996).
The dry-batch system is designed to handle straw arising out of paddy
cultivation. The digestion period identified is six months which is also the paddy
cropping cycle. The concept is to obtain straw from one crop, digest it for six
months and take out the digested material for use as fertiliser for the next crop.
The project helped NERD Centre to commercialise the dry batch technology.
Department of Animal Production and Health (Dept. AP&H)
The department identified the biogas technology as a means of providing
additional economic benefit to their clientele. Both the Sri Lankan dry batch type
and the continuous (Chinese) type are being used by these farmers.
The project strengthened the technical capacity of this department to undertake
the extension work on biogas technology within their existing service network.
Training imparted to the staff includes project identification, implementation and
trouble shooting.
The project collaborated with Universities in conducting biogas research and
development, particularly focusing on the performance optimisation, cost
reduction and assessing multiple end-uses. In addition, special training courses
on renewable energy, including biogas, were conducted for the benefit of
undergraduate students.
Most of the information disseminatioin activities and pilot projects were
implemented in collaboration with grassroot level NGOs. Memebers of local
NGOs were also given training on identifying opportunities for application of the
biogas technology in their respective regions.
Users and Builders
A major activity of the project was to provide training on the construction of
biogas plants to village level masons and end-use equipment manufacturers.