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Bioslurry – “brown gold” that makes you smile even during the pandemic

Hello, this is Cynthia from Think-team.

These days, has been getting closer with Indonesian society about various thematic sustainability and climate change via online events. We collaborate with several organisations, associations, and community groups to introduce’s activities that could contribute to tackling climate change, one of which is biogas installation. Anaerobic digestion or biogas digester is commonly known to generate two co-products: biogas and organic fertilizer (bio-slurry). In one of the online events, I was surprised that still, people are not familiar yet with what bio-slurry is and its benefits. The significance of bio-slurry seems overlooked. So, I will talk about bio-slurry this time.

Let's understand first the science behind the production of this "brown gold". It might be hard to understand at first but bear with me 😉. In general, there are three steps of anaerobic digestion of manure or organic waste. Firstly, complex organic compounds like carbohydrates and proteins are broken down by microbial enzymes. The second stage resulted in acetic acids, volatile fatty acids, and gaseous products ( i.e., H2, CO2). Lastly, methane (CH4), or many of you probably know as biogas, is generated and used for cooking – as well as other nongaseous products, including liquid effluent or bio-slurry. Bio-slurry contains a high content of organic matter and minerals like Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium(K), as well as other nutrients (e.g., Magnesium, Iron, Zinc). These compounds are beneficial for plant growth and soil fertility.

Not convincing enough? Actually, bio-slurry benefits are recognized at least among farmers worldwide, so does! We installed portable biogas at the office by utilising food waste then the bio-slurry is used for the garden. As a result, some of our members could still enjoy free organic vegetables, especially during the pandemic in which social distancing is enforced.

Organic vegetables are available at office

Not only us, our farmers in Bali and Bajawa (Flores Island) who already installed our biogas digester could still smile thanks to the implications of bio-slurry on their plants. As a fertilizer, Vitalis, one of the farmers in Bajawa, claimed that crop quality increases and pests are reduced after using bio-slurry. This implies bio-slurry can also act as pesticides. Plus, such benefits of bio-slurry lead to the declining use of synthetic fertilizer. He and his family are delighted with the existence of our biogas digester in their yard.

Vitalis and his family are happy with bio-slurry application

On the other hand, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that the research regarding the implications of bio-slurry use on long-term soil fertility and carbon sequestration is still limited. will unveil the potential of biogas digester to carbon sequestration through a European Commission research project, LANDMARC, in the next four years. Hopefully, the revelation of such potential could attract more and more people to utilize this "brown gold". So, stay tuned 😉

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I can testify, the vegetables were indeed delish!

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