While DHE is primarily known for its work in East Africa, our newest project group works in Hanover at the Dartmouth Organic Farm. The biogas group is dedicated to harnessing gas from organic materials. Anaerobic digesters break down waste products to produce methane gas, which can be harnessed as a clean form of energy to power homes.
Formed in the fall of 2011, the biogas group is comprised of students with a shared passion for clean energy. Our group emphasizes hands-on learning, which led us to work on-campus conducting experiments at the Dartmouth Organic Farm. In the spring of 2012, the team ran tests to determine the most suitable organic matter to be used in the digester. We also reached out to several anaerobic digester companies and visited sites with biogas digesters to observe the technology on a large scale. The project group is planning to use the alumni networks of Dartmouth College and the Thayer School of Engineering to expand our knowledge of anaerobic digesters, which will help us move our project from on-campus research to off-campus site implementation.
In the short-term, the biogas group plans to build a small-scale digester on Dartmouth’s campus that can fuel a DHE cookstove. Once the digester is up and running, it will transform food waste from Dartmouth’s cafeterias into controllable methane gas. In this way, we hope to explore small-scale digesters that could be implemented in the Upper Valley, as well as in the developing world.