Methanestarter

  • Backers

    18

  • Funded

    4.300 €

  • Stage goal

    12.000 €

  • to go

    26 days

Added value for the environment

The project saves or improves the areas of ...

human

ground, water, air

climate

animals and plants

biodiversity

material and cultural assets

energy and use of resources

Resources used

The resources used are ...

produced sustainably

eco-certified

fair-trade

of regional origin

used efficiently

recycled, upcycled

renewable (e.g. energy)

This self-assessment by the project starter serves as a decision support for the crowd. Not all criteria must be met, but all alternatives should be considered.

Summary

We are building the first agricultural biogas plant in Colombia. It converts biowaste and animal faeces into biogas and fertilizer. Climate-damaging methane is turned into renewable energy. We need your support to complete the construction.

Description

In December 2023, we began construction of Colombia’s first agricultural biogas plant. It is located on the grounds of the agricultural vocational school SENA, near the town of Buga in the Valle del Cauca. The pilot plant, which is to be followed by others, will enable us to process 10 tons of biomass per day into biogas and fertilizer. In this way, we are creating a regional circular economy and avoiding climate-damaging methane emissions.

With your support, we want to ensure that we can push ahead with the necessary construction work so that we can connect the plant technology and gradually put the plant into operation.

We use anaerobic technology as a key element in returning organic materials to the natural environment. The nutrient cycle is closed. Medium-sized farms from the surrounding area supply the faeces from their animals to the biogas plant. Associations of local recyclers (recicladores) deliver municipal organic waste. The digestate produced by the plant is returned to agriculture as a natural fertilizer.

We capture methane, which is produced during the open fermentation of biomass, e.g. at landfill sites. In the air, the gas would make a significant contribution to the greenhouse effect and damage the climate (methane is 26 times more harmful than carbon dioxide). We use the high-energy gas obtained in this way to generate green electricity. When fed into the grid, it replaces electricity from fossil fuels. CO2 emissions are avoided.


The biogas plant has multiple effects:

  1. It captures climate-damaging methane that the biomass releases into the air during wild fermentation
  2. It produces electricity and avoids CO2 emissions by using the renewable energy source
  3. It closes the nutrient cycle and replaces artificial fertilizers with organic fertilizers
  4. It creates jobs and promotes social equality
  5. It creates technology transfer
  6. We train specialist staff locally that have not been available in the country to date

What is the funded money used for?

20.000 € Personnel costs for six-person construction team over six months
15.000 € Purchase and installation of all piping for distribution of biogas and digestate
18.000 € Erection of a comprehensive ring anchor to support the biogas membrane cover
12.000 € Lining the excavation with concrete

We have been developing the project since 2018. 120,000 of the estimated investment costs of 250,000 euros for the initial plant have already been financed by our own funds. Essential plant technology was purchased in Germany and is now available at the site in Colombia. We started construction on 11.12.2023. The financing required to complete the plant is currently around 130,000 euros.

Take us half way..

With the campaign target of 50% of the outstanding funding amount from Ecocrowd, i.e. EUR 65,000, we want to complete the construction work (civil works) before the next rainy season: Our most important milestone. Then, after reaching the halfway point, we can start installing the machinery and preparing for commissioning together with the students and teachers of the SENA vocational school. If the amount collected exceeds the campaign target, the funds will be used for further project implementation. If we do not reach the campaign target, all the funds we have received up to that point will be used. We will inform you every four months about the progress of the project and the use of the funds.

Help us to get the wheels of the circular economy turning in a particularly beautiful part of Colombia. Once the first plant is up and running, it will be much easier to expand this idea to the whole country.

And get half price..

With our “Half Way – Half Price” campaign, you can claim a 50% discount at our hotel in return for your donation. The hotel “AUEN – Posada Andina” is our predecessor project, which is now in operation. You can find out more here: https://auen.com.co/

Why is the project an EcoCrowd project?

The proper treatment of organic waste is playing an increasingly important role globally. Openly deposited organic waste and animal faeces from agriculture contribute to climate change through wild fermentation with considerable methane emissions. In addition, the application of a linear economic model (throwaway economy) means that important and limited fertilizers are lost globally every day.

Source: Lexikon der Fernerkundung, Karte der Weltweiten Vertwilung von Methan, gemittelt 2002 bis 2011

More so than in our latitudes, this aspect plays a particularly important role in the Global South, where the waste of a large part of the world’s population is dumped in open landfills and the organic components ferment there openly. Recycling techniques such as those used in industrialized countries are often too expensive and not profitable. As a result, technical approaches that are considered the standard in the developed part of the world are not used for 80% of the world’s population.

With this plant, we want to set a precedent and use this practical example to show what it takes to implement large-scale prevention of wild methane emissions through the targeted treatment of organic waste and animal faeces.

By focusing on the circular economy, we generate twofold added value. On the one hand, we are tapping into a renewable energy source (biogas) by capturing methane. Secondly, we make the plant nutrients from the biomass available again for agriculture (biofertilizer). With SENA as a public partner, we have a vocational school at our side, which enables us to create multipliers for the topic.

Tell us something about yourself.

Behind the project is a cooperation between my company HANKE Umweltservices, which I founded specifically for the construction of the local biogas plant in Colombia, and the state vocational school SENA.


I, Tobias Hanke, am an engineer from Hamburg with twenty years of professional experience in international development cooperation – with a focus on water, wastewater and resource management. On behalf of KFW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), I am currently working as a technical expert in the project development, implementation and project appraisal of large-scale water supply and disposal facilities in Peru and Colombia (wastewater treatment plants, drinking water plants, supply and disposal networks, etc.). After many years working on various projects around the world, I emigrated to Colombia with my family in 2014 to settle centrally in the region and focus on promoting development issues locally. We moved to a finca near the town of Buga in the Valle del Cauca.

As soon as I arrived, I realized that there was a great need and great potential in the biomass sector in the tropical country. In 2015, I therefore approached the local branch of the state vocational school SENA. In November 2021, we signed the declaration of cooperation for the biomass project at state level and renewed it again at the end of 2023. From SENA’s point of view, the project is of great importance. There are no comparable projects in the country. With the pilot, the institution is taking on a pioneering role. This positive spirit of optimism can be felt throughout the team.

We supply the future, because ...

we produce green electricity and biofertilizer from organic waste and reduce methane emissions in the course of this.

Martin Grepmeier

Muenchen, DE

Julia Starken

Hamburg, DE

Erich Pick

Hamburg, DE

Rainer Zöller

Waldbüttelbrunn, DE

Robert Haarmeyer

Dublin 5, IE

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