event 10 июл. 2023

Niger Basin Nexus Acceleration Programme // Article Series No. 11: An intelligent biodigester to meet the challenges posed by the proliferation of household and agricultural waste

With its fast-growing population, the African continent faces a number of challenges, including energy scarcity, deforestation, waste proliferation and food insecurity. To address these challenges, Moonsoftbio, a young Guinean start-up, markets autonomous, intelligent bio-digesters to manage fermentable waste. In this way, it contributes to maintaining a healthy environment in Conakry and its surrounding area.

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This article is also available in French.

Designed by Gbadé KOIVOGUI, founder of Moonsoftbio, the intelligent bio-digester has a monitoring system that makes it easy to control and monitor the system remotely. Made of plastic and scrap metal, the bio-digester is waterproof, durable and resistant to organic acids. With almost 3,300 tonnes of human and organic waste generated daily in Guinea, the solution is designed for households, schools, restaurants and farms. Depending on the average amount of waste produced, Moonsoftbio offers four types of bio-digester with capacities ranging from 500 to 2,200 litres.

The advantages of this solution

The decomposition of waste by the bio-digester produces methane and organic fertilisers, which have environmental, economic and health benefits. The methane produced replaces the use of wood/charcoal, reduces dependence on fossil fuels and logging, and meets people's energy needs. Depending on the capacity of the bio-digester and the volume of gas stored, the methane can be used for between three and five hours per day.

With the fertilisers produced by the bio-digester, Moonsoftbio is having an impact on the agricultural sector and is helping farmers to transition to more environmentally friendly production systems. These fertilisers, which replace chemical fertilisers, help to empower producers, increase agricultural productivity, improve public health and enhance food security. To meet the demand for fertilisers, in addition to its own production, the start-up has made its customers privileged allies, from whom it buys the fertiliser produced by the bio-digesters.

To optimise the use of liquid fertiliser, Moonsoftbio also offers an aquaponics kit for soil-less production in urban areas. Using minimal space and water, this kit is suitable for low-root crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint and strawberries.

In 2021-2022, Moonsoftbio sold five bio-digesters, 400 litres of fertiliser and 15 aquaponics kits, reaching 10 producers, 15 households and three catering businesses.

Challenges and prospects

As part of the Nexus Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Security Acceleration Programme, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and 2iE and jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU), Moonsoftbio is being supported to structure its production, improve its collection of raw materials and test new business models. The aim is to equip every school canteen in Conakry with a bio-digester for waste management.

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Cecilia Vey

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