Helping Solve the Energy Crisis with Waste By-products

Helping Solve the Energy Crisis with Waste By-products


An intrepid agriculturist and inventor plans to start a national incentive program to build at least 5000 family-type digester all over the country.


By Didi Guanzon-Lucindo


When Gerry Baron returned to the Philippines for good after 17 years in North America, our country was not in dire straits, nor was anyone able to predict that the price of crude oil would exceed 60 dollars a barrel.

            Baron, an agriculturist at heart decided to move his family straight from the province of Tarlac where his parents and siblings have various agro ventures. Since their business of layer farms is running well, the La Salle-trained engineer- who had worked on GE locomotives while in Canada- decided to get into other agricultural ventures.

            Although he was not sure which one, Baron wanted to work on something that would not involve importing raw materials that would be environmentally sustainable and would be a foreign currency earner. He also felt that the venture should somehow address the plight of most Filipino households that subsist on so little a day.


Continue reading “Helping Solve the Energy Crisis with Waste By-products”

Portable Biogas Generator

Portable Biogas Generator
A “zero waste” venture to ease fuel shortage

by Rita T. dela Cruz

April-June 2007

Volume 9 Issue No. 2

Source:Bar Digest

It is true that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. In agriculture, farm wastes such as rice straw, bio-solids from vegetables, grasses, biodegradable feedstock, and manure do not immediately find themselves into the garbage as they could be potential alternative sources of fuel energy.

These agricultural wastes are being converted into biogas fuel through an anaerobic process. Biogas comprised primarily of methane and carbon dioxide which could be used as fuel for generating electricity at homes and farms particularly in remote areas in the province where electricity is limited. These could also be burned directly for cooking, heating, lighting and process heat, and absorption refrigeration.

One question remains. How to generate biogas fuel from these agricultural wastes?

Introducing the portages
The portable biogas generator or portagas was developed by a group of researchers from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) lead by Dr. Rogelio Concepcion and Dr. Gina Nilo with Mr. Alan Anida, Mr. Carlos Serrano, Ms. Leonora de Leon, and Mr. Victorcito Babiera.

The feasibility and development of the portagas were undertaken for five years, from 2001 to 2006.

According to Dr. Nilo, all common biogas generators have two main parts: digester (where the slurry is mix and fermented to produce the gas); and gas holder (where the gas is collected and connected to a burner for cooking or lamp for lighting).

Prior to the development of the portagas, BSWM developed four biogas generators.

The first ever model is an integrated batch type generator developed in 2000. It is called “integrated batch type” because the gas holder is not separated from the digester.

In 2001, it was modified into a split-batch type (digester and gas holder are separated) and was referred to as PortaGas Model-1 or Pm-1. It has a floating gas holder attached to a Bunsen burner for cooking.

The previous model was further developed with the coming of Pm-2 in 2002 using a surplus burner from a non-functional auto-ignition LPG stove.

Then, a more refined model, Pm-3 was developed in 2003 with a pre-fabricated cast-iron manual gas stove and simplified gas holder fittings.

Finally, the most simplified model, Pm-4, which is the upshot of the portagas. Continue reading “Portable Biogas Generator”