Free natural gas

Thomas H Culhane (right) assisting the build of the Clonakilty Community Garden Biodigester

Posted on: 4th August, 2015

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

GIY Clonakilty notes by Riley Liao

The Solar CITIES Blue Flame tour held a community build of an IBC biodigester at the Clonakilty Community Garden on July 8. Thomas H. Culhane, co-founder of Solar CITIES and an expert in small-scale energy production, led the demonstration and shared his insights into the possibilities of the home-based biodigester.

A number of people attended, including families from the Clonakilty Lodge Direct Provision Centre, The Clonakilty Community Garden and GIY (Grow It Yourself) Clonakilty. Everyone had a hand in putting together the biodigester and it started to warm up within a few hours of completion.

The Solar CITIES IBC (International Bulk Container) biodigestor’s design is as simple as it can get. It’s essentially a big stomach that has two large pipes for input at the top that go all the way to the base and a hosepipe in the middle for collecting gas.

Assembling the biodigester involved ‘burning’, an exciting process where a 4in metal cylinder was heated up and pushed through the top of the tank to make a hole for the input pipe. The IBC tank was then wrapped in black plastic to prevent algae from growing.

Post-assembly, the tank’s 1000litre capacity was filled with water, and the task of shovelling fresh manure began, seeding the tank’s bacteria. The biodigester runs anaerobically (without oxygen). In a few weeks the bacteria will have multiplied enough for the Clonakilty Community Garden to start the process of feeding in weeds and food waste.

While talking about the origins of the IBC biodigester, Thomas told a story detailing his quest for a sustainable energy source during his travels to places such as Iraq, Egypt and India. The Holy Grail turned out to be a ‘burping’ bucket of liquid compost on the roof of an Indian household. There he also learned the key of feeding a biodigester food waste instead of manure — ‘it’s a stomach not a colon’.

This fire-breathing dragon is the new king of DIY projects. Once running, a daily bucket of food waste produces enough methane gas for around two hours of cooking. At the same time, the biodigestor processes organic matter faster than a compost heap without losing any nutrients. The only maintenance it requires is a balanced diet.

For more information on biodigesters visit www.solarcities.eu.

Come and get growing at the new Clonakilty Community Garden between 11am and 1pm every Saturday, behind Deasy’s carpark. GIY Clonakilty’s first meeting after the summer break will be at 8pm on Monday, September 14 in O’Donovan’s Hotel. Con McLoughlin from Lettercollum Kitchen Project will give a Nutritional Cooking demonstration.

Latest News Articles:

Global Shares to create 80 new jobs
Ford 100 Fest on Ford family farm to mark 100 years of Ford in Ireland
A Taste of West Cork Food Festival launches delectable programme
Healing with a harp
Plan the perfect wedding day at the Fota Island Resort Wedding Forum
Clutching at straws for Coalition
Lee’s and Nils: West Cork clubs in the city
The walk of a lifetime
West Cork farmers take gold at National Farmer of the Year Awards
Shining success for Union Hall Centra store at 2017 Quality Awards

Join us on Facebook

Dunmanway Historical Association regrets to announce that the talk on Sile na Gig which was to take place on Thursday, 24th August in Atkins hall @ 8:30pm has been cancelled. ... See MoreSee Less

18th August, 2017  ·  

This year Wild Atlantic Tag sponsored by Marine Harvest will take place in Adrigole on Saturday August 5th. All are welcome, whether you are a team entry or an individual looking to join a team. The teams will be divided into two sections, Social & Seriously Social! Please contact Sean (0879568363) or Joey (0879865827) to register. It promises to be great craic with plenty of refreshments available pre and post-match! Fantastic local musician Eoghan McEllhenny will entertain the rugby masses from 4.30pm followed by Peadar O’Callaghan and renowned Natural Gas will round off the night from 9.30pm! ... See MoreSee Less

14th July, 2017  ·  

A woodland walk will take place on the 22nd June at 7pm in Glengarriff Nature Reserve. This is a great opportunity to learn about woodlands, their plants and wildlife and is an opportunity not to be missed. Glengarriff Nature Reserve was designated as a Nature reserve in 1991, and covers over 300 acres in size. It is a beautiful and unique woodlands containing many different habitats and is owned and managed by NPWS primarily for conservation and amenity purposes. The event is led by National Parks Ranger Clare Heardman and has been organised by Cork Nature Network For further information please contact events@corknaturenetwork.ie ... See MoreSee Less

19th June, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top