Biogas Backpack Provides Means Of Transporting Affordable Alternative Energy

The production and use of biogas as an alternative energy source has been picking up speed. It’s now used in Europe, Asia, Africa and both North and South America with increasing regularity. Just recently BMW announced that they were going to be using biogas for supplying energy to their automotive assembly plant in South Africa.

Besides recycling materials that would otherwise be considered waste for the purpose of creating the gas, once it’s been transformed into usable energy, it burns cleaner than other more traditional fuel sources. This is a win-win situation for humans and a positive step for the environment.


The Biogas Backpack: Used for the transport of biogasThe Biogas Backpack: Used for the transport of biogas


Biogas Backpack

Now that biogas has become more prevalent, scientists, environmentalists and industry leaders are looking for more ways to introduce it to poor rural areas. The problem for a lot of people in small towns and villages, where the main means of transportation is still by foot, is getting it home.

That’s why a few years ago the “empowering people. Network” (epN) got involved in finding a workable solution for retrieving the gas. What they came up with is the biogas backpack, an inflatable, pillow-shaped bag made of flexible, gas-tight material with straps attached for transporting it from the source to wherever it needs to go. All anyone has to do is slip the lightweight bundle on their back and start walking. Fully loaded it weighs less than 10 lbs.

Alternative Energy

Providing an affordable source of energy for things most of us take for granted, like lights and cooking, can vastly improve living conditions for millions. Many women and children spend their days searching for firewood to provide them with the fuel they need just to survive. This tedious and often dangerous work is backbreaking and can eat up a significant part of your day.

The biogas backpack helps ease the daily workload and lowers the health risks associated with continually breathing smoke from wood burning. Replacing wood with safe, clean alternative energy also reduces deforestation and soil erosion, which is another boon for the environment.


The Biogas Backpack: Filling the portable bag with biogasThe Biogas Backpack: Filling the portable bag with biogas


Noncombustible Design

The bag or backpack is equipped with a welded, threaded flange, holding a mini ball valve. It is filled with alternative fuel from biogas plants using simple pressure equalization instead of pumps or compressors. Due to this design, it doesn’t need to be equipped with a security valve to release gas in the case of over pressurization. In addition to this, there is no risk of explosion because of the limited amount of biogas in the bag, the high content (30 to 60 percent) of non-flammable CO² in it, and the non-pressurized status of the gas itself.

It’s said that even if the bag comes into contact with an open flame, the backpack won’t explode, but rather burns down in what’s described as a controlled manner. To avoid accidents with leaking gas, and just to be on the safe side, the backpack is designed to be stored outside of the home.


The Biogas Backpack: Biogas is stored outside of the homeThe Biogas Backpack: Biogas is stored outside of the home


empowering people Network

According to their website, “epN is an initiative of Siemens Stiftung that promotes appropriate technological solutions for the major areas of basic supply in developing regions.” In other words, they’re looking for ways to improve living conditions for people all over the world.

Usable inventions and designs for rural areas have the ability to impact millions and change lives for the better. The biogas backpack not only has the potential to be one of those inventions, but it could be used in other applications as well, like for the sake of convenience in developed countries. The possibilities for practical usage at this point are seemingly endless.