Generating sustainable biogas at SNV’s Nairobi office


A novel technology for generating biogas from food waste has been introduced at the SNV Nairobi office

Recently two biogas systems have been installed at the SNV Kenya premises which will be generating biogas for cooking in the office kitchens and organic fertiliser for the garden from food waste. 

The systems have been installed as part of the ‘Decentralised Electro-Methanogenic Wastewater Treatment (DEMWT)’ which is implemented in partnership with WASE Limited, a UK-based environmental engineering company, and funded by Innovate UK.

Biogas systems, or biodigesters, can convert animal manure, food waste, faecal matter, and other organic matter into combustible methane gas, known as biogas. This gas can be used for cooking and powering appliances. In addition, the residue of the process, the ‘bio-slurry’, can be used as organic fertiliser for plants and farming.

Nelson, the biogas operator hired by SNV managing the system

Stanley, office management assistant in Kenya making tea using biogas

The project aims to pilot and validate WASE’s Electro-Methanogenic Reactor (EMR) technology to treat organic waste in biogas systems. The EMR technology treats waste up to 10 times faster and generates 40% more energy than a traditional Anaerobic Digester (AD). The accelerated performance comes from WASE’s patent pending EMR technology.

As part of the pilot, two biogas systems have been installed at SNV Kenya’s Nairobi office premises: one system with the EMR technology and one without. The same amount of food waste will be fed into both systems. This will allow WASE to run a comparative analysis of the two systems and gain significant data on EMR’s performance in terms of energy generated, treatment and retention time, and the amount of sludge produced, against the second system which is a traditional AD. The gained data through this pilot will help to determine the business case for the use of EMR technology to generate biogas.

Through new innovations, partnerships, and projects like DEMWT, we are unlocking the future of ‘waste to energy’ systems.

For more information, please contact SNV's Project Field Officer Sigei Patrick by email.