Military bases install biogas plants to reduce pollution | Infrastructure news

The South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) has installed biogas stoves to cook in order to reduce fossil fuel pollution in honour of Global Recycling Day.

With the South African National Energy Development Institute’s (SANEDI) support, the SANDF has had the biogas stoves set to be in full operation in 2023 installed at two of its military bases.

This initiative is anticipated to preserve food that would otherwise be sent into landfills into biogas which will decrease the amount of coal-fired electricity and remove liquid petroleum (LPG) use.

SANEDI is a state-owned agency that conducts energy research and development and promotes energy efficiency on behalf of the government.

This project is reportedly one of numerous energy, waste, and recycling projects SANDF and SANEDI’s partnership aims to work on.

SANEDI manager of renewable energy Dr. Karen Surridge says the Department of Defence (DoD) and the SANDF are keen to save costs in energy usage and to ensure that the SA National Defence Force has the security of energy supply in a constrained energy system.

“The biogas project is also very much in line with the SANDF’s green soldiering concept under which it has introduced strong environmental protection measures in its operations.”

Biogas is a composition of predominantly methane and carbon dioxide (CO2). Biogas can be burned directly as a fuel or treated to remove the CO2 and other gases for use just like natural gas. Treated biogas may be called renewable natural gas or biomethane.

It can also be produced under controlled conditions in special tanks called anaerobic digesters which the SANDF is set to use.

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (USEIA) biogas is an energy-rich gas produced by anaerobic decomposition of organic materials such as food waste. 

The significance of Global Recycling Day – which took place on 18 March – is to convey a message to world leaders that recycling is important not to be a global issue, and that a common, unified approach to recycling is urgently needed.

Global Recycling Day is the source of countless initiatives by governments, civil society groups as well as the private sector since its inception and has impacted environmental action and awareness profoundly across the world.

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