Maasai Generating Biogas From Animal Blood


At the Keekonyokie slaughterhouse in Kenya, members of the Maasai tribe are generating biogas from animal blood and waste.

The biogas provides the electricity for the plant, and the surplus is piped to local hotels.

The Maasai are in the process of commercializing the biogas, reports News Daily.

It will be placed in 6 kilogram cylinders and sell for roughly $8. That is approximately half the price of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas.

The slaughterhouse slaughters an average of 120 cows and 400 sheep and goats each day. Biogas is cheaper because “raw input is assured and at zero cost,” according to project leader Michael Kibue.

The process of pumping the gas into cylinders is also free since it is powered by the biogas, Kibue added.

The biogas is also hotter than LP gas “and it is highly combustible, so it allows you to cook faster,” according to Erastus Gatebe of the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).

Overall, biogas is 30 to 40 percent more energy efficient than propane or butane, said Gatebe.

Prior to producing biogas in 2005, the plant spent around $400 each week for waste disposal to meet regulations mandated by the National Environmental Management Authority.

Currently the plant generates enough biogas to fill 100 cylinders each day. With upgrades to the plant, the Maasai hope to triple that amount, according to Gatebe.

The new venture will also have environmental benefits by saving trees.

“We cut down a lot of trees for charcoal and we hope to reduce that, since they keep our air clean,” said Kapunei Ole Tunda, the chairman of Keekonyokie slaughterhouse.

The government supports these types of ventures since they reduce the amount of methane going into the atmosphere, according to John Maina, the head renewable energy officer at Kenya’s Ministry of Energy.

The KIRDI will perform safety testing on the biogas cylinders. Then, “we start rolling it out,” Kibue said.