(241). Start a Bio-gas and Liquid Fertilizer Machine Business
This is a system designed to treat domestic biodegradable waste in order to get the most values out of it: bio-gas and liquid fertilizer.
The product focuses in the activity of “growing your own” food inside greenhouses by using the heat from burning the bio-gas to heat up the greenhouse during the winter days, and by using the liquid fertilizer to provide nutrients to the plants.
By doing so, the user is creating a small closed loop of nutrients in his own garden: turning the nutrients in the food waste into fertilizer, that will be absorbed by the growing fruits and vegs, that will then provide the food waste to feed back into the system.
The product is based in Anaerobic Digestion (AD), which is the bio-degradation of waste without the presence of oxygen, and is the most efficient way of dealing with this waste.
In FEED ME, the user provides a mix of his food waste and water that goes through a mincer and straight into the AD tank as a liquidized mix, where it degrades. AD is also a much faster decomposition than normal composting, making the system more dynamic and able to work in a continuous process. So when the user inputs a certain volume of waste, the same volume of digested fertilizer will be displaced, becoming available to use, resulting in an instant feedback of transformation of waste into fertilizer. This activity changes the negative perception of getting rid of garbage, into a nice habit of feeding the greenhouse with the food scraps.
User research showed that the potential users have their greenhouses in allotment areas, with no electric source. This meant that the product had to be completely self-sufficient. The bio-gas created is stored in a “telescopic gasometer” system that expands vertically as the gas is generated, keeping it at constant pressure by the weight of the tank as it gets consumed. The surrounding compost uses the heat produced by the composting garden waste to create a micro-climate in the AD tank and keep the bacteria active during winter seasons.
Prototypes & Test rigs: