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Low-Cost Plastic Bio Dig Esters Davis Preston 2004

Low-Cost Plastic Bio Dig Esters Davis Preston 2004

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12/20/2012

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A combined digester and gasholderPVC plastic tube biogas unit
C.H. Davis & T. R. PrestonThis paper describes a 5.88 m3 PVC tube biogas unit which costs onlyTk 890 including expenditure on gas pipe line. stove, fight and labour. Thisunit is expect@ to produce I .? rn’ of gas per day or 53 hrs cooking fromthe dung of 2-3 adult cattle.Tube b@as digestee have been operating in .other countri& They aregenerally cheaper than the fixed and floating gasholder types and solve designproblems present in the tent model. These digesters could be constructed bysmall-scale industry using a hot clothes i/on to join the P.V.C. sheets. Furthertesting of plastic material is required.A biogas unit constructed as a com-are available from old Dhaka in rolls,
plete
pclyvinylchloride (PVC) plastic tube generally 138 cm (54 inches) wide andcould overcome problems associated with 50 metres long. By joining sheets into aflooding, anchorage and leakage with the tube, a digester of any capacity can bePVC tent model: These problems and constructed to match the availability ofvarious modifications of the design- weredung etc. or the gas requirements for andiscussed in detail in theNov-Dec. individual household or cpmmunity. Three1982 ADAB NEWS.Majorfaults biogas units have been constructed. Thewith thetent design are shown inFig. 1. The width and specifications ofmethod used is shown in figures 2a-c.the tent model were determined by the a)
Joining sheet together (Fig. 2a)
dimensions of locally available PVC sheetsbecause a sample method of glueing or The first step is to decide what size ofwelding (joining) the, sheets together was digester is required. Data from a 15m3not known. .i .‘ red mud PVC digester2 with inputs of cowConstruction of a combined digester dung and water have been used to cal-and gasholder PVC tube biogas unit re-culate Tables I a and I b and provide aquires joining plastic sheets.This article guide for the length and width of thedescribes results from December 1982 to sheet.February 1983 to develop simple methodsof construct?tg tube biogas digesters soThe PVC is rolled out and the edgesthat they could be manufactured by small overlapped and joined together to formscale decentralised industries:one big, flat sheet. End pieces are thencut from half a circle so that the circum-Construction of PVC tubeference is equal to the length of the sheet(diagram 2a).Various thickness and grades of PVCC.H. Davis is adviser, Livestock, Fish andFormulasAnimal Nut&ion, Noakhali- fRDP with Danida.T.R. Preston is Cons&ant DAN/DA Mission, Circumference of circle=x x Diameter,Dhaka. for half circle
Jmurry-February 1883APA0 NEWS 36H
 
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Fig 1Tent model biogas - mcijor problems
\F
f hod inggas outletPVC tent -t,renh-\ /I @ leakage
January-February 1983
 
Diameter (d) =2aA= O.637 a.where a is width of sheet.
v) Constructing tube (Fig. 2 b)
Thenext step is to join the circumference ofthe half circle to end of the plastic sheet(a to a in Figure 2). initially, you maythink that this is impossible ! Try with apiece of paper, and you will see that it isnecessary to fold the sheet into a cylinderand the end half circles in to a conebefore they will match. A circle (hoop)made from split bamboo will help to holdthe plastic in position. The seam alongthe cylinder and cone is then joined withthe cylinder in a collapsed or flat positionBy using this method, the unit willhave an even shape with the end conesjoined to the cylinders, and the inlet andoutlet pipes connected to the cones. Alljoins will be strong because they areoverlapped.After the unit is constructed, it is ad-visable to test for faulty joins or smallholes in the plastic. This can be doneby inflating with a motor exhaust (motorcycle/vehicle) attached to a length of oldbicycle tube and pipe. Alternatively, useyour lungs ! Check for leakage by soundsmell and bubbles, using soapy water.Keep the tube inflated as a guide fordigging the trench.
c) Complete digester (Fig 2~)
Two-thirds of the volume of the tube is nowplaced in the trench so it fits neatly andthere are no sharp roots, stones, etc. topuncture the sheet. This is equ’ivalent to0.687 of the circumference (approx. 2/3),leavingone-third ballooned above thetrench. It is important that the trenchsupports the plastic tube when it is filledwith dung/water so it is only acting as awater proof membrane andnot givingphysical support. Thinner andcheaperplastic can then be used. A few centi-meters of mud on the botton of the trench
will
also help to fill any irregularities inthe trench.The gas outlet is fitted at any con-venient place on top of the tube.Thre-aded elbow and couplingPVC plasticfittings are available and these can beused to clamp glued washers on the in-side and outside of a small hole in thetube so as to give a good gasproof outlet.Reinforced concrete cement pipes aresecured for the water/dunginlet andslurry outlet. A 6 ft. 4 in. diameter pipecan be cut at about the 2f--3+ mark andsecured *to the ends using nylon rope orstrips of bicycle inner tube.The inletmust be higher than the outlet so that‘each charge’ displaces slurry to the outletend. Final adjustments to the slurry levelcan be made after the digester is filled byaltering the level of the outlet pipe.An inlet funnel can be made frommould of earth and scraps of plastic, re-maining after cutting the end ‘half circle’.During rain, this can be folded over theinlet pipe to prevent water entering thedigester.
Joining PVC sheets
a)
Glueing.
The best glue we havefound is ‘Combined Bond’ Colle de Con-tact, from Combined Chemicals Co.. (H.K.)Ltd. with the sole export agent of FairliteMfg. Co., P.O. Box 79350,. Mongkok,HongKong. It partially *melts’ PVC whilstleaving a tough rubbery adhesive substancebetween the sheets. This is ideal for anyrepair work and securing the gas outlet.It costs approx. Tk 400/- for 3 kg, and1 OOg (Tk 13/-) would be sufficient for anyminor repair work.b)
Hot clothes iron.
A hot clothesiron will melt PVC and give a very strongjoin, provided the temperature is adjustedproperly. We use a Chinese ‘Red heart’(Tk 415) iron with a setting between rayonand silk with excellent results. Two layersof PVC are placed on a flat, 4-inch drivebelt with newspaper on top and ironeduntil the paper is just singed (brown) andthe plastic melted. The weave pattern ofthe flat belt comes through, so the plastic
January-February 1983ADAB NEWS 37

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