Transport in Cuba
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Cuban packages biogas in plastic bags for domestic use

Cuban packages biogas in plastic bags for domestic use

Big News Network (IANS) Thursday 13th September, 2012

A Cuban farmer has devised a method for packaging biogas in plastic bags

to facilitate domestic use of the fuel, the Communist Party daily Granma


"Although it's just an isolated experience for now, it could end up

being a highly useful innovation," the paper said Wednesday, noting that

the method has been successfully employed in the western province of

Pinar del Rio.

Six months ago, Daniel Garcia installed a biogas system at his pig farm

to make use of that renewable energy source and obtain organic

fertilizer, but after a few weeks the volume of fuel he produced

exceeded his own needs and he decided to share it.

Garcia told Granma he would have needed several large hosepipes to

transport the biogas to other nearby houses and that would've been

cost-prohibitive, so instead he came up with an alternative method.

The solution was to store the biogas in hermetically sealed plastic bags

that are used at a tomato pulp preserve factory in the region and are

"very resistant and capable of withstanding high temperatures".

"With them, there's no need to compress the gas and so the process is

much simpler and efficient. You simply use a hose to connect it to the

(biogas stove) and the bag inflates like a balloon," Garcia said.

Each bag takes about 30 minutes to fill and provides a two-day supply of

cooking gas for a family of three.

The bags, which Garcia says are re-usable, are based on the same

principle as the gas cylinders found outside the kitchens in many Cuban

households and connected to the stove by a regulator to prevent

accidents, the daily added.

Granma said this system will be a low-cost way of solving "the old

dilemma of how to gather this important energy carrier" and avoid the

cost of hoses or pipes in transporting it to people's kitchens.

The newspaper also hailed the idea as ecologically sound.

It noted that when launched into the atmosphere in uncombusted form one

cubic meter of biogas (mostly methane) is "equivalent to a ton of CO2"

and extremely harmful to the environment.

By contrast, it can be burned to generate "clean and safe energy" and

used to "cook three meals for five people".

One cubic meter of biogas has an energy content "equivalent to 0.5

liters of diesel or 0.6 liters of kerosene" and can produce 1.6 KW/h of

electricity, it added.

That amount of biogas can be collected "by processing the excrement

produced in one day by three cows, four horses, nine pigs, 10 sheep or

130 chickens", Granma said.

–IANS/EFE Tags: transport

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