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First Advisor

Nikitina, Svetlana






As hot water is an expensive amenity for The Fundacion Paraguaya, Team Manure to Methane has designed a continuous batch biogas generator as well as created instructions for local operators on how to use it. We compared many different biodigester systems to select the most efficient and economical design for The Fundacion Paraguaya. During the research and development phase, we addressed such cultural constraints as language barrier and budget, as well as ensured such a design met with expert approval from professionals in the chemical engineering field for its functionality. As a result of our research, we were able to successfully design a biodigester and provide a materials list as well as instructions on how to use and maintain it. The design consists of a series of storage tanks that serve as containers for the manure as it decomposes. The methane generated this way rises up during the decomposing process and is captured in a common holding container (a plastic bag). The chosen digester design is in the format of a continuous batch system. We chose this method because it allows the manure to sit for 30 days, the minimum time it takes to sanitize the slurry, as well as provides a continuous production of methane. Our design lives up to the principle of "no waste will go to waste” of Cradle to Cradle textbook. Our design maximizes the nutrient value in the once harmful and dangerous sludge as it produces a potent and healthy fertilizer as a byproduct. To guarantee that our system could be understood and implemented at the School, the designs will be provided in Spanish as well as English. After many weeks of research, we are confident that our design will help reduce the School’s dependence on electricity.


Grand Challenges




Worcester Polytechnic Institute


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


Grand Challenges


Great Problems Seminar



Manure to Methane: No Waste Will Go To Waste



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