PCC-USM showcases first biogas digester project in Region 12

A 10-cubic meter biogas digester is now operational at the Philippine Carabao Center based at the University of Southern Mindanao (PCC-USM) in Kabacan, Cotabato.

The facility is an outcome of the collaboration between the Department of Energy-Mindanao Field Office (DOE-MFO), University of Southern Mindanao-Affiliated Renewable Energy Center (USM-AREC), the local government unit (LGU) of Kabacan and PCC at USM.

A covering memorandum of agreement (MOA) was entered into by the four entities represented by Dir. Manuel M. Laneza, DOE-MFO director; Dr. Francisco Gil N. Garcia, USM president and USM-AREC project director; Kabacan Mayor Herlo P. Guzman, Jr. and Benjamin John C. Basilio, PCC-USM center director.

PCC at USM was selected as a recipient to showcase the first biogas digester project in Region XII (Soccsksargen) and serve as a demonstration model project to help in promoting the biogas technology in the region.

As an integral part of the project, a seminar on biogas technology was also conducted for livestock growers/producers and representatives from various villages in Kabacan. Highlight of the seminar was an actual visit to the newly constructed biogas plant at PCC-USM. The project will be duplicated in selected villages and by other groups or individuals who signify interest of the technology and concur with the requirements.

Biogas production involves a fermentation process utilizing livestock manure, and liquid and solid organic waste materials. The resulting slurry is fermented anaerobically to produce methane gas, which can be utilized to power farm operations and cooking.

PCC-USM is already using this technology for the pasteurization of milk and in processing of various dairy products, thus saving the cost of using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Biogas can be used daily with continuous loading of an average of 480 kilograms of slurry per day while the sludge can be utilized as organic fertilizer in forage production. At the same time, the center addresses the waste management problem since the process itself serves as a waste treatment system, which also mitigates the odor problem. The center can now collect an average of 100 kilograms of organic fertilizer per day.

The construction of the biogas digester started on January 12 this year and was closely supervised by the DOE-MFO and USM-AREC team, both of which will also monitor its operation to ensure its sustainability. The ceremonial biogas test fire was conducted on April 6.

As a demonstration model project, PCC at USM commits to maintain, secure, operate and sustain the project, and provide technical skills and knowledge associated with the biogas technology.