Home > Civil > NESTEC 2023 PAPER: Campus Sustainability; Biogas Potential Of Sewage And Municipal Solid Waste Organic Fraction In Nigerian Universities

NESTEC 2023 PAPER: Campus Sustainability; Biogas Potential Of Sewage And Municipal Solid Waste Organic Fraction In Nigerian Universities

Abstract

This paper studies the potential of waste to biogas process in Nigerian universities using six universities across each of the geopolitical zones for the analysis. Despite signing the Abuja declaration in 2009 on the role of higher education in sustainable development in Africa. Nigerian universities are yet to fully commit to improving their waste management techniques. Waste to biogas will help to remove waste from the environment and serve as a source of energy generation and internal revenue for the tertiary institutions. Mathematical methods were used to estimate the potential biogas yield from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and sewage from the six universities. Results showed an average potential value of 275,233.00 m3 of biogas from municipal solid waste organic fraction which can be converted into generation of 1,651.40 MWh. Results from the sewage conversion gave an average potential value of 258.46 m3 which is very low compared to the value that can be derived from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Biogas generation potential was observed to increase with population across the institutions.

 

Keywords: Biogas, Campus sustainability, Electricity, Integrated waste management, Renewable energy, Waste to energy.

Author: Adisa Taofik A.

Supervising Lecturers: Dr. O.S. Ismail

 

Click the Link Below For Full Paper, Questions and make your COMMENTS

Campus Sustainability Biogas Potential of Sewage and Municipal Solid Waste Organic fraction in Nigerian Universities

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73 thoughts on “NESTEC 2023 PAPER: Campus Sustainability; Biogas Potential Of Sewage And Municipal Solid Waste Organic Fraction In Nigerian Universities

  1. Great work done as this will really improve energy generation and reduce waste within the university and the country at large. But, If I may ask, what is the cost implications relative to the output generated and considering the current economic status of the country?

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    1. The cost will pay off in the long time by helping to alleviate waste management cost and alleviate electricity expenses for universities.
      Also, with a potential average electricity generation of 1,651.40Mwh, which is equivalent to 15% of the present electricity generation of the country. The excess generation can be sold to communities surrounding the universities and serve as revenue generation for the institutions.

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  2. About 1600MWh of power is an invaluable amount to be generated especially for a country having power-related issues. However, will it be possible to accumulate approximately 275 million litres of biogas periodically?

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    1. The 275 thousand* litres is the average annual output and can be consumed to be used as a cooking fuel or to generate electricity as they are being produced.

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  3. Biogas production wouldn’t end at just gas generation as a source of power, the leftover can still be used as fertilizer on institution farms to produced food for students and staffs at subsidized rate. Universities needs to do more and start tapping into all these things to make their environment a better place.. A better Nigeria can start from a small unit filled with learned entities

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    1. Agreed, sir. Campus sustainability essentially talks about using higher institutions as nurseries for environmental sustainability techniques and technologies.

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    2. It’s always good to see efforts towards waste reduction.

      The use of organic waste from livestock is innovative. But during the sorting and treatment process, how can the inclusion of non-biodegradable materials (quality-wise) be prevented?

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      1. Essentially, through source separation. In Universities, organic waste bins can be made available for each hostel room and at strategic points like near campus cafeterias and regular convergence points.

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  4. This research is a significant step towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future for Nigerian universities. By exploring waste-to-biogas processes, you’re not only addressing environmental concerns but also creating opportunities for energy generation and additional income for these institutions.

    Your findings highlight the substantial potential of biogas from organic waste, underlining the importance of prioritizing eco-friendly waste management practices. Keep up the excellent work, and may your research inspire positive change in waste management across Nigerian universities, benefiting both the environment and the institutions themselves.

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  5. Essentially, through source separation. In Universities, organic waste bins can be made available for each hostel room and at strategic points like near campus cafeterias and regular convergence points.

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    1. What benefits can universities expect from implementing integrated waste management systems with source separation and anaerobic digestion, aside from biogas production and energy generation?

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  6. Nice one.
    Fact, biogas is cheap. Using waste products too will really solve lots of problems i.e the burning of wastes which affects the environment by releasing toxic chemicals to the air.
    It will also prevent indiscriminately disposing/littering of wastes.

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  7. It’s interesting to see how this study evaluates the electricity generation potential on university campuses from
    municipal solid waste organic fraction. It rekindles the hope of an average Nigeria regarding the prospect embedded in waste products.

    However, while we hope to benefit from this, are there any risk involved in it? If yes, how can it be managed?

    Thanks

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    1. The only risks in it will be those caused by improper management or by not following safety protocols during operation or handling of the materials and products.

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  8. I really love this work because I personally have experimented it at home. Just that I couldn’t get suitable equipment for set-up. I would like if you could guide me through how you went about yours.

    Adding to that, I feel we need to start thinking of a circular economy instead of a linear economy we run in this country.

    An economy whereby we turn wastes to raw-materials. We have a lot of ways to get this country on track but we fail to look at some strategical ways to go about that.

    Your project is wonderful and should be made reality. I challenge you to come up with a company or initiative that specialize in the concept of your project that is making biogas from biological wastes and also sensitizing the public about this.

    Nice job

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    1. I would love to work with you in setting up a biodigester. Yeah, on the challenge part, I do have an idea that I am ironing out on the generation of biogas from biodegradable wastes. Your acknowledgment is really motivating, sir.

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      1. Well done
        This is nice.
        We hope it is well managed at the long run.

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  9. I would love to work with you in setting up a biodigester. Yeah, on the challenge part, I do have an idea that I am ironing out on the generation of biogas from biodegradable wastes. Your acknowledgment is really motivating, sir.

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  10. This is a great contribution to the society, if it could be followed up appropriately.Welldone sir!

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  11. This is a job well done. I particularly loved the way you highlighted the slow growth of biogas technology development in Nigeria and the significant amount of organic waste generated by the country, as waste management has actually been a reoccurring issue with no end in sight. Your suggestion of adopting biogas technology as part of an integrated waste management system in universities is commendable, It has the potential to address both waste management issues and serve as a sustainable fuel source for higher institutions. This approach could contribute to a more efficient and environmentally friendly energy solution for Nigeria’s universities. I hope this research gets in the hands of those that would implement it. Well done!

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    1. I also hope it gets in their hands, sir.

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  12. This is actually a great project
    I must commend

    As much as generating biogas from biodegradable is a nice idea

    Does it have a side effect or disadvantage?
    And how affordable is it in Nigeria.
    Is it realistic enough?

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    1. There are not much disadvantages associated with it. Though, biogas production may have high initial cost of investment for the infrastructure, the revenue to be generated will later pay off. And the handling of the organic wastes can cause odor in the immediate surrounding; this can be alleviated by siting the plant some distance away from buildings.

      While the scope of this paper does not cover the (LCCA) Life cycle cost analysis of the technology in Nigeria. Estimates show it is affordable for higher institutions in Nigeria with sufficient endowment.

      Yes, it is very realistic.

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  13. There are not much disadvantages associated with it. Though, biogas production may have high initial cost of investment for the infrastructure, the revenue to be generated will later pay off. And the handling of the organic wastes can cause odor in the immediate surrounding; this can be alleviated by siting the plant some distance away from buildings.

    While the scope of this paper does not cover the (LCCA) Life cycle cost analysis of the technology in Nigeria. Estimates show it is affordable for higher institutions in Nigeria with sufficient endowment.

    Yes, it is very realistic.

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  14. Insightful article to the massive underutilized potential of biogas especially on university campuses.

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  15. Considering the epileptic state of the power supply in our universities and the high cost these universities claim to pay to power generation companies, power generation from biogas in our universities is undoubtedly a call in the right direction and will serve as a model for the country at large. Thus, I commend your effort in coming up with this masterpiece and understand the great effort that you must have invested. Well done! However, what do you think is preventing ideas like these from becoming a tangible reality rather than being mere publications?

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    1. Well, from my own view, I would probably sum it up to limited access of leaders to research publications. And also, one of the major problems of Nigeria; Corruption.

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  16. Thank you for the enlightenment, sir. This is a huge contribution to the society. Well done, sir.

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  17. Amazed to see the potential usefulness of what we see as “waste”. This question may seem out of the context of the project. Is it advisable to invest in biogas generation from sewage despite its low volume?

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    1. Yes, there are Sewage processing plants for developed countries with sewers. They are able to capitalize on the large population in cities and avoid excess transportion costs with the use of the sewers. Also, countries like China and india have household sewage biogas digesters for communal household with a central septic tank.
      So, Yes if the population is a relatively large.

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  18. Great work, Man. my question is can the amount of energy that will be generated match up with the one genrated through fossil fuels at similar cost? if so, this is a great idea and i hope the concerned bodies look into it

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    1. While the scope of this paper does not cover the Life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) of the technology, the simple estimate will show that the production cost of the feedstock is essentially free compared to the production cost of fossil fuels

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  19. Yes, there are Sewage processing plants for developed countries with sewers. They are able to capitalize on the large population in cities and avoid excess transportion costs with the use of the sewers. Also, countries like China and india have household sewage biogas digesters for communal household with a central septic tank.

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  20. Brilliant research. Processing and conversion of solid waste and sewage to biogas for energy generation. This research serves as a cue for tertiary institutions to improve their waste management methods, have cleaner schools and at the same time, generate revenue internally. So cool, I must say.

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  21. This is a real eye-opener. Weldone!

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  22. Great work! Now, what are the challenges associated with using biogas as a source of energy?

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    1. Using biogas as a source of energy includes some challenges like a certain degree of technical expertise to operate large biogas plants and also the energy storage technology for biogas is not very efficient.

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  23. I must say, I actually enjoy going through your paper. It’s commendably comprehensive and the topic is of high relevance. Well done!

    I am really hoping to witness the practical insights you provided being brought into fruition soonest.

    My question is: among the methods mentioned, through which biogas could be extracted from said wastes – which one do you think can really be considered in the universities, keeping in mind ease of execution, feasibility and cost ?

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    1. Biogas extraction can take place through plant reactors or mini-household digesters. For the amount of organic waste generated by universities, a plant reactor will be more feasible.
      There are different types of plant reactors.e.g. plug flow reactor, Continuously stirred tank reactor(CSTR), Upflow anaerobic Sludge blanket digester(UASB).e.t.c. CSTRs are more adapted for food waste and also have simpler designs than the others. UASBs are mostly used for waste water and plug flow reactors are mostly used for manure. CSTRs should be considered in universities.

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  24. This is really a good idea, how sustainable is it?

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    1. It is sustainable since the feedstock used is waste which will always be generated as long as the institution is functioning. Though, the amount of organic waste generated may reduce during periods of vacation, the institution electric demand will also reduce and organic waste can be sourced from surrounding communities during those times.

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      1. Proper waste disposal will definitely improve the development of a community or nation.
        I particularly like this research work because it shows the potential of waste being really useful rather than being disastrous to human health and the environment.
        I also appreciate the fact that you streamlined your research to universities, because learning would be safer and better when learnt in a conducive environment.

        Great job, sir.

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  25. Proper waste disposal will definitely improve the development of a community or nation.
    I particularly like this research work because it shows the potential of waste being really useful rather than being disastrous to human health and the environment.
    I also appreciate the fact that you streamlined your research to universities, because learning would be safer and better when learnt in a conducive environment.

    Great job, sir.

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  26. Brilliant piece!

    I must allude to the erudition of your research methods and methodology. The abstract was succinct, the problem statement was clinical and the research topic reflected the significance and contribution to a gap in knowledge! Other sections of the research were nothing short of brilliant!

    Subject to implementation by campuses, this research work may move further to address;

    – how biogass generation may be optimised by simple, yet efficient, novel waste pretreatment technologies

    – post processing carbon capture and sequestration

    – campus waste management

    – investment in research for sustainability.

    Keep it up!

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  27. What advice would you give to universities in Nigeria and other developing nations looking to enhance their sustainability efforts and reduce the environmental impact of their operations?

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    1. My advice would be that;
      Nigerian universities and others should consider adopting Biogas technology to reduce the burden of their waste disposal and enhance sustainability efforts.
      Universities can also partner with agencies, government or private parties to implement these solutions. Governments and policy makers should take note of biogas technology when addressing waste management challenges and improving energy access.

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  28. How do the findings of your research align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and affordable and clean energy?

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    1. This research supports Sustainable development goals by;
      1. Promoting sustainable waste management within urban environment.
      2. Encouraging recycling and reprocessing of waste materials and
      3. Providing an affordable and clean source of energy

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      1. This is great project and I must commend your efforts.
        Well done.

        What future research or initiatives would be valuable to further explore the potential of waste-to-energy solutions in the Nigerian educational system?

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        1. Further research to be carried out include; Life cycle cost analysis, Cost to benefits analysis, Life cycle analysis and research into which Nigerian materials can be used to make what parts of the technology.

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  29. How did you select the specific universities used in your study, and what criteria did you consider?

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    1. I selected the universities across the geopolitical zones of the country to provide an inclusive representation of universities across the countries. Also, the federal universities were selected due to the fact that they are more established than other institutions and that data about their waste characterization were readily available in published papers.

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  30. This is a well-prepared article. 

    Looking into the Nigerian universities as your case study, which of the three methods of extracting values and resources from waste do you see as a potential game changer that can create a surge in effective waste management?

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    1. All three are important in waste management. In the waste management hierarchy, Physical reprocessing is more desirable than the other two. It is a game changer that reduces the amount of waste generated and is considered before the other two methods

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  31. In your paper, you mentioned the importance of waste management as a step toward campus sustainability. How do you envision this approach contributing to broader sustainability efforts in the country?

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    1. It contributes to broader sustainability efforts by mitigating the release of harmful green house gases from universities. It also promotes energy independence from universities by reducing their reliance on the national grid and fossil fuels.

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  32. Brilliant research.

    You researched that despite signing the 2009 sustainability bill in Abuja, Nigerian universities are yet to be fully committed to waste management systems.

    Were you able to explore the existing impediments in the universities’ system in adopting a full-fledged waste management technique?

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    1. Thank you, while i didn’t have access to the data to be able to fully explore it, I suspect a dearth of Universities-private industries/agencies partnership as a reason for the impediment, and lack of full inclusion of sustainability courses in curriculum as a general course to enlighten the students

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  33. Could you explain the significance of the strong positive relationship you observed between biogas generation potential and university population? How could universities leverage this information to improve their waste management practices?

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  34. One of the significance of the correlation of population to biogas generation potential is that the technology will be more cost-effective for Universities with high population. Also, waste generated by high population in universities can be seen as a resource rather than as a waste. Universities can leverage on this information by planning biogas systems tailored to their population.

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  35. This is an excellent submission,the paper focuses on the possibility of implementing waste to biogas process in Nigerian universities, focusing on six universities across geopolitical zones,the study suggests that waste to biogas processes could reduce environmental pollution and at the same time provide energy and revenue for these institutions.
    My question here is ;
    Explain the process of converting sewage and municipal solid waste organic fraction into biogas and how can Nigerian universities utilize this process to promote sustainable energy generation?

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