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Introduction to the F’11 Biodigestion Research Project

October 1, 2011

By Tyler Courville and Ihna Mangundayao

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Did you know that 5.2 million people die every year from waste related diseases? Now you do! This is a result of irresponsible and inappropriate global waste management – 50% of which is organic and 35% is unsorted recyclables. This is becoming a major problem in both developed and less developed countries with the latter usually suffering the consequences. Developed countries like the US often dump their trash in less developed countries that cannot always meet the waste demands. People have been trying to find alternative ways to dispose of waste more responsibly and sustainably. To solve this crisis, scientists turned to Nature for a solution – creating an emerging field known as biomimicry, which copies Nature’s processes to make the world a better place for humans. From this, a solution arose: Biodigestion. Biodigestion is the production of biogas and fertilizer in an anaerobic setting from organic waste. In other words biodigestion takes poop and turns it into usable energy and rich fertilizer.

The Island School, despite its attempt to be sustainable faces a major problem: human waste management. Twice a year, the school’s septic tank is emptied and its contents are dumped into local Bahamian landfills. Biodigestion gives The Island School an opportunity to get rid of its waste while solving other issues such as energy and food production. The clean energy produced by the digester can be used for cooking, running cars and much more. The fertilizer produced also contributes to the improvement of soil quality, which, in turn, optimizes food production. The many benefits of a biodigester make it the ideal solution.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Eliza SP'11 permalink
    October 2, 2011 10:34 pm

    Yay Bio-D!! This is the best!

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