The world knows that there is a breaking point in which nature can no longer repair the damage caused by human activity, an example of this are the Chinese cities contaminated with particles from coal-fired thermoelectric plants, in India the Ganges river saturated with garbage or closer in port cities in Peru with household waste sent to the sea. Its high pollution, product of irresponsible industrial activity and excessive population growth, envisions a bleak future for its inhabitants, compromising their health and development.
Anaerobic fermentation allows obtaining a gas with characteristics similar to natural gas obtained from subsoil gas fields. The main characteristics of the nopal biogas are the absence of hydrogen sulfide and the rapid generation of biogas with very short retention times.
The nopal is an extraordinary plant, a survivor of wide geographical extension, finding varieties from Chile, Peru, through Ecuador, Brazil (Recife) Mexico, Spain, Chinese India, etc. Maybe it's the forgotten biofuel. Its globalization capacity is enormous, the poorer and more desertified the area, the greater its potential as a crop.
What is bioenergy?
Bioenergy is the renewable energy obtained from biological materials. In its strictest sense it is a synonym for biofuels, fuels derived from biological sources. In its broadest sense it also includes biomass, the biological material used as biofuel, as well as the social, economic, scientific and technical situation related to the use of biological energy sources. There is a slight trend in favor of bioenergy in Europe, compared to biofuels in North America. (Wikipedia)
What is the waste generated by the process?
The process of obtaining methane generates organic sediment and water as by-products which are treated by vermiculture for their incorporation into the soil. The nitrogenous water obtained from the reactor is incorporated again in the nopal plantations as fertilizer reinjected in the technified irrigation system.
Why use nopal ?.
The nopal has excellent molecular characteristics which allows to deliver a large amount of biogas in a very short time, in comparative terms for the same volume of biogas the nopal degrades 5 - 10 times faster than animal manure, this allows the same equipment be 5- 10 times more productive. In addition, it does not produce hydrogen sulfide which, when burned in contact with air, is transformed into sulfur oxides and later into sulfuric acid, producing acid rain.
What are the environmental, social and economic advantages of this biofuel?
It generates sustainable development poles, both economic, social and environmental, in addition the nopal is renewable, therefore the contracts to producers are based on the useful life of the project of 15 years with which the producer can risk their capital and consumers are guaranteed production for a long period.
The nopal energy is clean, inexhaustible, generates carbon credits, permanent jobs and solves the energy problem in a sustainable way in the short, medium and long term.
Why is it that reactors are low cost?
Unlike the more traditional processes to obtain biogas from manure, which normally take two stages, one acidic and the other methanogenic, whose pH is much more acidic, the nopal is processed at only slightly acidic pH 6.5- 6.8 and in a single stage since the The time that the material is inside the reactor is very short, this makes an expensive stainless steel reactor inadequate, since it is only necessary to coat the interior with epoxy paint or another type of plastic every two years for good maintenance.
On the other hand, the design lines implemented are with equipment that can be purchased in the local industrial market and in common use.