Biodigester 101

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Sustainable living gets easier as new technology is developed. One of the newest is the bio-digester, which is a device that collects waste from your plumbing systems in your kitchen and baths. It then “digests” the waste so you can use it as garden compost or as methane gas to power your electrical appliances. Talk about reduce, reuse, and recycle!

How the Biodigester Works

Instead of sending all of your waste into your local sewage treatment plant or your septic tank, you send it to your biodigester. From scraps of food to human waste, everything that you would normally flush down the toilet or toss into the garbage disposal goes into the biodigester to be transformed into material that you can use to keep flowers blooming and appliances running.

From the Farm to the Back Yard

The biodigester works with good bacteria, known as aerobic bacteria. It breaks down sewage through air flow so the waste material is not so smelly and offensive. The best devices are able to break down the waste so much that it can be reused in the environment without any fear of contamination. Currently, many large farms use biodigesters to help with their livestock waste, but not many residential or commercial property owners have begun to use the product yet. However, once green-minded homeowners and business owners realize the potential environment impact the biodigesters deliver, this product will take off.

Benefits of the Biodigester

Once the biodigester is finished doing its work there are two materials available for use. The first is compost that can be used for plants that are not going to be eaten. Because there is human waste in the compost, it is best to avoid using it on edible plants due to the potential health problems it could cause. However, biodigester compost will make your flowers and decorative plants thrive beyond your imagination.

Methane Gas Helping to Save Energy

Methane gas is the other material that comes from a biodigester. After the waste is broken down, the methane gas comes to the top of the digester and can be pumped directly into your home or business. The gas can then be used to power appliances that normally would use electricity. After using a biodigester, you will see your electric and gas bills decrease. You will also notice that your self esteem increases because you are helping the environment in a unique way.

Find Support Before Installing a Device

While you might find a variety of different do-it-yourself biodigester projects online, those who have tried these projects recommend working with a professional. Most of the biodigester devices need to be installed in the ground. Plumbing and electricians usually need to be involved to connect the pipes and appliances to the biodigester. Since these are alternatives to local sewer systems and septic tanks, you might have to work with your municipality to be sure the biodigester is an acceptable product to use in your community. You also might have to work with general contractors to be sure that the device itself is installed appropriate so that unwanted smells do not escape from the device.

From Third-World Nations to North America

Biodigesters are most commonly used in communities that are considered to be “off-the-grid.” Developing countries and Third-World countries are also using biodigesters to change agricultural waste into methane. The gas is used to power stoves and small appliances in these developing areas and rural communities. While North America sends more products to developing countries, there is nothing wrong with the tables being turned. Since North American homeowners and business owners are looking for ways to be environmentally friendly, biodigesters can change the way that energy is used.

Contact Scott English Plumbing for more information.