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A Review of Commercial Biogas Systems and Lessons for Africa

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
The Brew-Hammond Energy Center, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1433 Ås, Norway
Faculty of Science and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1432 Ås, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(11), 2984;
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10 Years Energies - Horizon 2028)
Many African countries have vast biomass resources that could serve as feedstock for methane production through the adoption of commercial biogas plants. However, due to many inhibiting factors, these resources are under-utilised. This article reviews commercial biogas systems that treat organic waste from municipalities, large livestock farms, large plantations/crop farms, food/beverage production facilities, and other industries, to identify essential lessons which African countries could use to develop/disseminate such biogas systems. The review identified the critical barriers to commercial biogas development to be high initial capital costs, weak environmental policies, poor institutional framework, poor infrastructure and a general lack of willpower to implement renewable energy policies and set challenging targets. In African countries where feed-in-tariffs, quota obligations and competitive bidding programmes have been instituted, implementation has been poor, and most state-owned utilities have been unsupportive. Using knowledge from more experienced countries such as Germany and China, some key lessons have were identified. Among the key lessons is the need to institute and enforce environmental management policies to ensure that waste from medium and large livestock farms and industries are not disposed of indiscriminately, a tool China has recently used to promote commercial biogas plants to a high degree of success. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; commercial biogas systems; bioenergy; electricity; Africa anaerobic digestion; commercial biogas systems; bioenergy; electricity; Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kemausuor, F.; Adaramola, M.S.; Morken, J. A Review of Commercial Biogas Systems and Lessons for Africa. Energies 2018, 11, 2984.

AMA Style

Kemausuor F, Adaramola MS, Morken J. A Review of Commercial Biogas Systems and Lessons for Africa. Energies. 2018; 11(11):2984.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kemausuor, Francis, Muyiwa S. Adaramola, and John Morken. 2018. "A Review of Commercial Biogas Systems and Lessons for Africa" Energies 11, no. 11: 2984.

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