NIEE Lagos Technical Session: Top Biogas Entrepreneur in Africa, Katrin Puetz Talks Up Magic of Renewable Energy

Katrin Puetz, the founder of (B)energy, a German biogas enterprise, has engaged environmental engineers in Lagos about “the magic of biogas”.

TOP MEDIA reports that Biogas is the gaseous fuel, especially methane, produced by the fermentation of organic matter. For this to take place, the waste material needs to be enclosed in an environment where there is no oxygen.

Biogas can produce heat and electricity for use in engines, microturbines, and fuel cells. Biogas can also be upgraded into biomethane, also called renewable natural gas (RNG), and injected into natural gas pipelines.

During a technical session with members of the Nigerian Institution of Environmental Engineers (NIEE), Lagos State Chapter, on Saturday, Puetz took participants through how biogas is produced and safely used.

She said for Benergy, the organisation works with cow dung or cow waste as its primary source of materials.

Her words:

“We realised that it is very effective to achieve a very high produce, a very high yield of biogas production, due to the microbes in its digestive system, we even see the cow as an untapped biodigester. Though using human waste is also possible, we know human waste is not so much. But cow dung is a good input into the Anaerobic digester because of its high calorific valve. So more biogas is generated with the use of cow dung, poultry waste, kitchen waste, and other forms of Biomass like maize. The list is endless.

“It’s easier to use cow dung. The item you use determines the quality and quantity of your biogas produce.”

Puetz emphasised that several biogas systems fail because certain parameters that are required are not well stated and not well calculated.

She said:

“One of such parameters is the hydraulic retention time. This is the time required for the microbe to grow to the extent that it can consume the waste that is being given to it over and over again. Some take just five days, other microbes require lots of time.”

During the event, the state chapter of the NIEE led by Engr. Yusuf Majolagbe honoured Engr Olalekan Emeka Ajani, a former National Chairman of the association, who will retire from the Lagos Civil Service on January 1, 2024.

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