I saw the following post concerning Gober (“dung”) gas, dated 27 April, 2009, over at Michael Yon’s web site:.
“During breaks from tracking training – I was sweating like crazy in the jungle heat – I asked many questions about Afghanistan and Nepal, and he talked about a simple way to make many of the Afghans lives easier. Most Afghans don’t even have electricity. When he was about fifteen years-old, his dad installed a “Gobar Gas” (methane) generator next to the house in Nepal. The generator is simple: the owner just collects human and animal waste, and through a fantastically simple process, the contraption creates methane, which is then used for lighting, cooking, heating in the winter. It also creates excellent fertilizer, all while improving sanitation. What’s the catch? None that I’ve heard of. He said that his dad made the first Gobar Gas system in his village, and today it would costs maybe $300 total investment. Between their own toilet and four cows, they create enough methane to cook, heat and light the house. More than two decades after his dad made it, the thing is still working and doesn’t cost a single rupee to operate. When the other villagers saw it work, hundreds of Gobar Gas systems popped up around the village. I’ve seen these systems in use in Nepal, and photographed one about five years ago. It worked like a charm. But this Nepalese man, a British soldier, never saw a Gobar Gas system in Afghanistan, but he is certain that the idea would take hold in the villages. My guess is that the only real disadvantage is that the idea is incredibly effective, simple and cheap, and so we probably wouldn’t want to get involved.”
Wikipedia has an entry on Gober Gas.
Regards, – Larry
JWR Replies: The usual safety (for piped explosive gasses) rules apply, and of course the usual sanitation rules must be enforced, but this looks like a great set-up for anyone that keeps livestock. Aunty Entity would be proud.