First biogas plant in Bicol saves 1M on fuel for Legazpi City abattoir

Legazpi City Bicol First biogas fuel for
Completed biogas digester (left) and the fuel that generates blue flame (right) during the testing conducted on May 12, 2021.

The first biogas plant in the Bicol of the Philippines is powering the Legazpi City Abattoir in San Roque, Legazpi City—the biggest and most modern in the region.

The biogas technology utilizes 1.5 tons daily of biodegradable wastes from swine slaughtering and is seen to mitigate public health hazards and environmental degradation by converting the waste to fuel for the abattoir’s boiler system, saving Php 1 million worth of annual expense from diesel fuel.

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The collaborative project “Piloting of Biogas Technology for Thermo-Electro-Mechanical Applications for the Legazpi City Abattoir” was made possible through the Department of Science and Technology Regional Office V (DOST-V), the Provincial S&T Center – Albay, and the Local Government of Legazpi City.

With the Php 500,000 worth of project funding provided by DOST-V, the abattoir now contains a floating gasholder-type biogas digester, designed by DOST-V’s very own Albay Provincial S&T Director Engr. Jacinto Alexis B. Elegado. As a counterpart, LGU-Legazpi allocated Php 450,000 for biogas generator, biogas scrubber, and biogas refining setup.

In a radio interview over DZGB-AM, Albay Provincial S&T Director Engr. Jacinto Alexis B. Elegado (left), PSTC-Albay, and LGU-Legazpi City Veterinarian Dr. Manny Estipona discussed the Legazpi City Abattoir biogas technology.

Engr. Elegado and Dr. Estipona announced that testing of the biogas digester using a heavy-duty gas burner already yielded blue flame. In addition to ensuring contamination from chemicals that may kill the methanogenic bacteria responsible for methane gas production, the biogas digester’s usage was designed and incorporated with safety auxiliaries such as pressure gauges and automatic shut-off valves.

The second phase of the project will focus on converting the biogas to mechanical energy to drive the motor and convert it to electrical energy through a generator attachment.

A study on purifying the biogas from 50% to 100% methane so it can be compressed in LPG tanks to be used by LPG taxis is also underway.

The biogas digester can generate 3kg/day LPG or equivalent to 113 LPG tanks annually, and 104 tons of high-grade fertilizer plus liquid effluents as no-odor-fertilizer.

With effluent pollutants reduced to 35%, water from the digester can be released with no harmful effects on the environment.

The biogas digester will also generate organic fertilizer from sludges that can be added to swine hair to produce a slow-release, high-grade organic fertilizer.

With the current reliance on inorganic fertilizer, this production will greatly assist the Department of Agriculture’s goal of increasing organic matter in all farming systems.

According to Dr. Estipona, the Legazpi City Abattoir presently pioneers the use of biogas technology in the Philippines as a solid waste management program and solid waste diversion program. Other LGUs are looking forward to the success of the project to replicate the technology in their respective areas.

On whether the sludges in the rivers in Legazpi City can also be fed to the biogas digester, Engr. Elegado explained that it is possible. However, the process will entail costs on assimilation tanks for segregation. The biogas technology is also applicable to poultry since chicken manure is the best biogas producer, followed by cow and carabao manure.

Filipino technologies developed with the assistance of DOST have turned Cavite homes into safe and healthy havens. Rice and corn biowaste have also been turned into ethyl alcohol by Nueva Viscaya State University and DOST.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the people of the Bicol region as its first biogas plant saves 1M on fuel as it powers the Legazpi City abattoir!

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.