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Methane Digester

Aerobe: Micro-Organism living only in presence of free oxygen from air. Aerobic: of Aerobe(s). Anaerobe: Micro-Organism that can or must live without free oxygen from the air; hence Anaerobic.

Septic Tank - Underground sedimentation tank in which sewage is retained for a short period while it is decomposed and purified. The organic matter in the sewage settles to the bottom of the tank, a film forms excluding atmospheric oxygen, and anaerobic bacteria attack the solid matter, causing it to disintegrate, liquefy and give off gasses. The gasses are discharged from a vent and the liquids overflow through an outlet into a disposal field where they can leach into the soil. Here aerobic bacteria purify the liquid.

Methane - CH4, colourless, odourless, gaseous saturated hydrocarbon; the simplest ALKANE. It is less dense than air, melts at -184°C, and boils at -161.4° C. It is combustible and can form explosive mixtures with air. Methane occurs naturally as the principal component of NATURAL GAS; It is formed by the decomposition of plant and animal matter. When this decomposition occurs underwater in swamps and marshes, marsh gas is released. The firedamp of coal mines is chiefly methane. Methane can be prepared in the laboratory by heating sodium acetate with sodium hydroxide, by the reaction of aluminum carbide with water, by the direct combination of carbon & hydrogen, or by the destructive distillation of coal or wood. It is unaffected by many common chemical reagents but reacts violently with chlorine or fluorine in the presence of light. As natural gas, methane is widely used for fuel. It is also used for carbonising steel and is important as a starting material for the synthesis of solvents, e.g., methylene chloride, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride, and of some of the Freon refrigerants.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand: Sewerage - In rural residences domestic sewage is often collected in a SEPTIC TANK on the property. Coliform bacteria, which inhabit the lower intestines of mammals, while not pathogenic of themselves, are taken as an index of contamination of watercourses. One simple method of removing suspended solids involves storing sewage in a holding tank, e.g., a septic tank; naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria can decompose the solids, which then settle to the bottom. While suitable for small systems, this method has several disadvantages. First, anaerobic decomposition produces noxious gaseous effluents, and it is fairly slow. Second, harmful bacteria may still be present in the liquid effluent. Decomposition can be speeded by forcing air through the mass so that aerobic bacteria can be used. * Author's note: The adding of Hydrogen Peroxide 35% food grade diluted is another such means of speeding decomposition as a way of forcing air through the mass so that aerobic bacteria may be produced/(used?). Allow the liquid to stand in large tanks until the solids fall out and form a sediment. Once the solids are removed in one of several ways. Most often they are removed in a semiliquid mass referred to as sludge. Sludge may be transferred to tanks where it is digested by aerobic or anaerobic bacteria. Gaseous by-products of this digestion are collected for use as fuels. * Author's note: This technique is used in the popular "Methane Digesters" which produce methane gas that may be used in a pilot burner to create high pressure steam to power a turbine generator to manufacture electricity

After digestion solids may be dried and enriched with plant nutrients for use as fertilizer. Sewage treatment is classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary, depending on the degree to which the effluent is purified. Primary treatment is removal of floating & suspended solids. Secondary treatment uses biological methods such as digestion. Complete, or tertiary, treatment removes all but a negligible portion of bacterial & organic matter.

Biodynamics is a method of organic farming originally developed by Rudolf Steiner and it takes on an holistic approach and so uses astrological & spiritual principles.

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