Development of Biogas as Potential of Alternative Energy in Indonesia

The cycle of Biogas
Development of Biogas as Potential of Alternative Energy in Indonesia - The reduction in fossil energy reserves of the world, including in Indonesia, forcing all parties to seek solutions to these problems. Various alternative energy sources have been tested and researched, one of which is biogas.

Use of biogas as an alternative energy in Indonesia is very possible to be applied in society, especially now fuel prices are more expensive and sometimes scarce existence. The amount of the potential for solid waste biomass in Indonesia is 49807.43 MW. Biomass such as wood, from the activities of the forest processing industry, agriculture and farming, animal manure, such as faecal of cow, buffalo, horses, and pigs are also found in almost of all Indonesian provinces with different qualities. At this time biomass  as a source of raw material of biogas is available in abundance and not fully utilized (Supardjo, 2005).

In general, the use of agricultural waste as raw material is more difficult to process to be biogas than the manure. The time required for the hydrolysis of cellulose from agricultural waste materials is longer than manure.

Simplify diagram of biogas digester
Several programs have been implemented by the Indonesian government to increase the use of biogas technology, such as installation and demonstration training for people to operate digester. In 1984, the number of digester that has been built in Indonesia only 100 units. Nine years later reaches 350 units (Wiloso et al., 1995). The non-significant of increasing the number of digesters due to the high cost to build the digester installation. This technology is already widely used by cattle farmers in the area Boyolali since the 1990s and still operates to this day. Research conducted in 2000 to produce biogas digester design made of plastic material and in 2005 the design is marketed at a price of 1.5 million rupiahs per installation is expected to increase the interest of farmers to use it (Aprianti, 2005).

In 2005, cattle farmers in Lembang, Bandung District began using biogas technology with digester made of 250 micron plastic. About 66 cattle farmers in the area of Subang, Garut and Tasikmalaya also been using digester with a capacity of 5000 liters. This condition is expected to occur also in farm areas outside of Java.

Biogas digester design
made of plastic material
Research on anaerobic digestion technology that has lasted more advanced in recent years. The study was conducted by private companies, scientific community, education institutions, and cooperation between industry and government. The benefits of anaerobic digestion is determined on improving the process of generating a higher biogas per m3 of biomass and the increasing degree of degradation. Further benefits can also be enhanced with the process of effluent conversion into more valuable products (Hartmann and Ahring, 2005). The study proceed several patented system which provides several advantages in system efficiency, size, capital costs, treatment flexibility, process stability and operating costs.

A research was conducted in the United States on feasibility of fuelcell technology to convert biogas into electrical energy. Today the technology is not yet economically feasible, but is expected sometime in 2010 is to be used. Compared with diesel generators, fuelcells more efficiently convert biogas into electrical energy (10- 30%: 40-50%) (Aldrich et al., 2005).

Biogas technology is a technology that can be used anywhere as long as there is supply availability of waste to be processed and has enough water. In developed countries the development of biogas technology in line with the development of other technologies. For the conditions in Indonesia, biogas technology can be built with collective ownership and maintained together. Some of the reasons why the use of biogas has not been popular among ranchers or if there are many who no longer operate, that is, less socialization, less practical applied technology and need careful maintenance and a lack of knowledge of farmers about the maintenance of the digester.

by: Harrys, 01/10/11

  1. Aldrich, B., S. Minott and N. Scott. 2005. Feasibility of fuel cells for biogas energy conversion on dairy farms. Manure Management Program.
  2. Aprianti, Y. 2005. Andrias Wiji Setio Pamuji : Penemu reaktor biogas. Kompas 15 Agustus 2005.
  3. Hartmann, H. dan B.K. Ahring. 2005. The future biogas productions.
  4. Soepardjo, A.H. 2005. Energi baru dan terbarukan. Kompas 24 Oktober 2005.
  5. Wiloso, E.I., T. Basuki  and S. Aiman. 1995. Utilization of agricultural wastes for biogas production in Indonesia. Proc. of the UNESCO - University of Tsukuba International Seminar on Traditional Technology for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Asian-Pacific region, Tsukuba Science City . Japan 11 - 14 Dec, 1995.
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