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University of Colorado at Boulder

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

Viet Nam: Ecology and Sustainability in the Mekong Delta

Abstract

Biogas infrastructure development, particularly in countries such as Vietnam, has the potential to provide great benefits to people living agrarian lifestyles in rural areas. Decentralized wastewater treatment facilities that utilize anaerobic technologies to digest organic waste for the purpose of collecting methane provide a number of benefits to centralized use as well. In both cases, users benefit from the production of methane gas, wastewater treatment, nutrient recycling, and organic fertilizers. In the case of decentralized use, as is most prevalent in Vietnam, integrated farming methods, such as the VACB model, allow farmers to reap the benefits of a wide array of economic, environmental, social and health factors that are not as easily recognized with larger, centralized treatment facilities. While biogas systems in Vietnam have the potential to provide such benefits, the dissemination of knowledge concerning the process and construction is largely stifled by a lack of resources; both on governmental and individual levels. Other limitations include the low socio-economic component of rural Vietnamese populations who, despite being the ones that could most greatly benefit from biogas implementation, are the ones that can least afford it. The proceeding experiment was prefaced with such discussions in order to give insight into the purpose and implications of the study. While this issue is ongoing, so too is the issue of research and development of the biogas production process. This paper looks specifically at the role of substrate addition in biogas formation potential. As Uri Marchaim of the Galilee Technological Centre asserts, “…the technology of anaerobic digestion has not yet realized its full potential for energy production” (Marchaim, 1992). Thus, the importance of studying the biogas process to better understand the importance of suspended materials and added substrates becomes a central concern in the effort to expand the technology and apply it on a larger scale. Experiments were conducted with organic market waste that was added to a series of biodigesters in order to measure the varying gas outputs in both quality and quantity. The purpose of this study was to draw conclusions about the potential of substrate loading on biogas formation potential, utilizing human waste. Sampling was done at dorm B23 of the Cantho University campus with hopes that conclusions may also be drawn as to how the involved parties may enhance the gas yield of the 500L digester.

Disciplines

Biomaterials | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Oil, Gas, and Energy

 

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