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Saving a Great Deal with Biogas
Monday, 10 October 2011 Written by fra Ivica Perić

Saving a Great Deal with BiogasIt’s not easy for me to write about this project and explain what it is about. I have a feeling that everything I write will sound like it’s from some great comedy. I’m sure that everyone who reads this will have to laugh.

To be honest, it’s funny to me, too, because I still don’t know how to explain to you what it is about. But, rest assured, the project is very serious and will save us some serious buck.

In my native Bosnia and Herzegovina, people, wanting to be funny, like to say how, when someone makes something good out of nothing, he has “made a pie out of shit”. Well, that’s exactly what we are trying to do here. But literally!

We started a project which consists of building a mini-plant for producing Biogas. As you already know, biogas is a gaseous fuel produced during the process of decomposition of fermentation of organic matter, including manure, sewage sludge, garbage or any other biodegradable waste.

To produce biogas we are going to use the manure from our cows. But also the “waste” from the twelve toilets we are currently building in the school compound. It will all be connected with a big underground tank the size of some 30 cubic meters. The waste will be collected there and turned into gas. And the produced gas will be then transferred to our school kitchen and there it will be used as fuel for everyday cooking of more than 300 meals for our students and school staff.

In the end, this project will save us a great deal of money. You see, there are three big cauldrons in our kitchen. Every day around 350 meals are prepared in them. Currently, everything is being cooked using firewood. That’s why we spend around 1,000 euro a year on firewood only. When we start using the biogas, the firewood costs will be reduced by two thirds, which is truly a lot.

Although the Rwandan government promised financial aid for his project, due to all the red tape, we decided to go into the project alone. But, of course, we are never alone. The construction of the underground tank and all the technical parts necessary for the production of biogas will be helped with the generous donations of Franziskaner Mission from Dortmund, our good friends who have unselfishly helped us throughout many years.

There you have it: the project has already begun, we are working at full steam, and when it’s all finished we will prove that we too are capable, like they say in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “to make a pie out of shit”.

Translated by: Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie Kae Ken

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