Legazpi City is converting cattle manure from slaughterhouses into biogas energy, lessening the city’s carbon footprint while saving about P1 million on diesel fuel costs.
Alex Templonuevo, regional technical director of the National Meat Inspection Service in Bicol, said of the project, “This is a milestone and the very first biogas plant in Bicol and even in the country producing energy out of cattle manure from class AA abattoir. We are converting biogas into electrical energy.”
The biogas energy will not only produce green energy but also help with lessening the smell from the slaughterhouse, as well as preventing possible water contamination.
When asked if how many heads of cow and dung needed to be converted into biogas energy, Templonuevo said that at least 400 heads of cows can generate 500 kilos of manure and generate enough power to boil the water for cattle slaughtering.
The 500 kilos of cows’ dung will be added with 500 liters of water and will be stored for 15 days in a tank. Inside the tank is a mixer that stirs it to achieve homogenization. The mixed liquid then goes through a macerator, which turns it into smaller particles. The homogenized paste – called slurry – is the item fed into anaerobic digesters for the production of biogas.
Templonuevo said the anaerobic digester will convert the waste to energy in the form of biogas which contains methane. The technology involves channeling feedstock into a manure digester, which converts it into methane.
Biogas is the gas resulting from an anaerobic digestion process. Within the manure digester, microbes break down the organic substance into methane and nitrous oxide.
The biogas plant will produce around 50,000 megawatt-hours of clean renewable energy.
Templonuevo added the city government is currently just using cattle dung, though that pig and cattle waste might also be converted to one day produce additional power.
Engineer Jacinto Alex Elegado, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provincial director in Albay, said the first biogas energy plant project was funded by the DOST in partnership with the city government of Legazpi as a pilot area in the countryside. The DOST provided P300,000 grants while civil work was done by the city’s engineering office.
The plant was built nearby the slaughterhouse located in Barangay San Roque. In June 2020, the DOST Bicol led by Rommel Serrano and Mayor Noel Rosal signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the construction of a biogas plant digester.
Mayor Noel Rosal said that the project helped to save the government’s coffer of P1 million out of the slaughterhouse generated waste.
“I hope this will also encourage other local government units to duplicate our project to lessen waste and produce renewable energy,” Rosal added.
Dr. Emmanuel Estipona, the city veterinary officer who worked closely with DOST and NMIS to make the biogas plant project a reality, said the government saved P1 million in funds from diesel fuel consumption for the slaughterhouse’s activities, as the biogas made at the plant also served as substitute fuel.
Aside from electricity, the system can make high-grade environmentally friendly organic fertilizers. Estipona added the fertilizer is given to farmers for free.
In the future, the project aims to also produce liquefied petroleum gas – about three kilos of gas daily, or about 113 gas tanks annually. – Rappler.com