Biogas production using water hyacinths to meet collective energy needs in a sahelian country
22 Jan 2009
1Université de Ouagadougou, Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre (UFR/SVT), Laboratoire de biologie et d'écologie végétales, 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
2Centre Régional pour l'Eau Potable et l'Assainissement (CREPA), 03 BP 7112 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso
Abstract. This paper presents a pilot project that investigates the possibility of producing biogas from a mixture of water hyacinth and fresh rumen residue – replacing firewood as a source of fuel – to meet the energy needs of a maternity facility in Niamey (Niger). The discontinuous-type installation (batch reactors) is made up of six digesters measuring 5 m3 each. The output during hot and cool seasons, 0.52 m3 and 0.29 m3 respectively of biogas per m3 of digester per day, has met the energy needs of the maternity facility, estimated at 8 m3 of biogas per day. The study revealed strong seasonal variations: output during the hot season is approximatively 1.8 times greater than it is during the cool season. Large quantities of water hyacinth, an invasive plant present in Niger since 1986, are manually harvested in aquatic environments. The project is run by a local NGO, the Groupe d'Initiative pour les Energies Renouvelables (GIER), and supported by UNICEF and the Niger Basin Authority. The duration of the project is 8 months.