Magsasaka Siyentista Talks Science Behind Biogas Technology

Wed, 04/13/2022 - 11:09

DILIMAN, Quezon City—In these trying times where day-to-day challenges include the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and price hike of commodities, the only way to survive is to save more than usual. 

Felimon “Boy” Santander, a Magsasaka Siyentista in Davao City, promotes the use of biogas especially in backyard swine production projects and as a common energy source for local communities. 

Food intake is a basic daily need of humans, and to do so, cooking is required. Now, imagine being able to eat everyday without having to spend on gas tanks needed for cooking? Say, for almost 25 years, how big of a save would that be?

This has been the case of Felimon “Boy” Santander, a Magsasaka Siyentista in Davao City, who has been using and promoting biogas for over two decades now. 

In an interview on the teleradyo program "Agri Asenso" last April 9, 2022, Santander explained the science behind this technology to program hosts Henry Uri of DZRH and Niet Arceo, OIC-Assistant Director of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

According to Santander, biogas is a source of renewable energy produced by the breakdown of organic matter such as food scraps and animal waste through anaerobic digestion, a process that takes place in the absence of oxygen.

“The key to this technology is tightness because if there is a leak, the system will not be able to accumulate gas pressure. Likewise, the principle of anaerobic condition is also important and this cannot be achieved if there is oxygen in the system,” Santander explained.

To date, Santander has already installed more than 100 units of the biogas system he has developed. As a Magsasaka Siyentista, he also provides briefings and technical assistance on the installation of the technology. 

“[We have installed units] in small and medium farms, households, and even in jails and seminaries. Some households have also put up bakeries using biogas as a substitute for LPG (liquefied petroleum gas),” he added.

Moreover, he attested to the advantages of the biogas technology economically and environmentally. Aside from cutting on expenses, biogas production helps reduce the emission of carbon brought by farm wastes to the atmosphere.

With the generous amounts of biogas that they are able to generate, Santander’s family also shares some with their neighbors. Meanwhile, the sludge produced during the process is used as fertilizer in their 2.5-hectare integrated farm. 

At the end of the interview, Santander encouraged local government units to establish regulatory guidelines for the promotion and to support the installation of biogas especially in backyard swine production projects and as a common energy source for local communities.

This “Agri Asenso” episode with Santander is available at the ATI and DZRH Facebook pages.