Biodigesters are a rural technology which decompose micro and macro organisms from manure in a closed container system through fermentation to produce biogas and slurry. We introduce biodigesters to beneficiaries through meetings and farmer study tours at previous biogas installation sites. There, project staff are able to show its importance in agricultural systems and how it can benefit villager’s current living situations.
In Cambodia it is well known that wood and charcoal are the traditional and main sources of energy for domestic cooking. The main reason why most families prefer to burn firewood and charcoal, is the low cost and plentiful availability when compared to alternatives. Other energies such as electricity, and solar power, do not exist in most rural villages. Meanwhile, the decrease of natural forest gradually makes it harder and harder to collect firewood, and produce charcoal. They must travel further spend a great deal of time gathering fuel, so have little time for more productive activities. The renewable and sustainable energy produced by biodigesters is a good option for rural villages, as it has had a very positive effect on women’s practical lives, in that domestic activities are simplified and time is saved on cooking and collecting firewood. It results in a cleaner environment in the kitchen and on the farm, also cleaner pots and pans and, generally, saves money and effort. (Mette Ide Lauridsen, 1998).
With the many years of experience in biodigester design and construction, combined with the knowledge from training courses and workshops, CRDT has developed its own technical expertise in biodigester design.
Our latest biodigesters designs take into account the availability, type and cost of local materials available in the project region/area. As stated in a report in January 2008 by Mr. Vince Whitehead, a construction engineer, on the quality control of CRDT’s biodigester construction, “…the design was working well and providing a valuable alternative to sources of heating and lighting that is obviously greatly appreciated by the users”.