It’s a gas

German entrepreneur invents cheap and portable biogas rucksacks

Katrin Puetz, a 34-year-old agricultural engineer and entrepreneur has found a cheap and effective way to provide households across Ethiopia with cheap and portable biogas for cooking. Her company B-Energy has invented a sealed compost bag or “digester” which produces methane gas from food waste or animal droppings, which can be transferred to “pillow-shaped inflatable balloons” that can be worn as a rucksack. The bio-gas from these balloons can then be piped out and used as cooking gas, with each balloon providing enough for some 5 hours of cooking. The Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia saw the potential in this cheap and clean alternative to the traditional wood fires used in Ethiopia, so it decided to help Puetz develop her technology. Wanting to prove that her business can stand on its own, the German entrepreneur decided not to take any money from charities, saying, “My aim is not to just provide biogas, but to show it can be provided without aid. This is not just about money, it is about pride — why do we always have to have aid and subsidies for something that can work on its own?”

Read the full story at the BBC.

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