Universidad del Valle de México Professors and Students Develop New Technology

Portable Biogas System is the first of its type in Mexico


Universidad del Valle de México Professors and Students Develop New Technology

Professors and students from Universidad del Valle de México Campus Tuxtla, led by Professor César Gómez Beltrán and Luis Antonio López Valencia, created the first Portable Biogas system in Mexico in collaboration with the Center for Research and Technological Development in Renewable Energy.

The portable and pressurized module biogas conditioning system is low- cost, lightweight (less than 80 kilograms), and is easy to use in the production and transportation of biogas. The device, which takes up less than 2 square meters, includes two biogas conditioning systems that can create methane (CH4) that is 95 percent refined and a compression system to store pressurized biogas in conventional LPG tanks, at a maximum pressure of 38 kg/cm2.

The prototype made by professors and students from UVM Campus Tuxtla’s Mechatronics and Industrial Engineering programs is composed of two parts: a plastic digester that captures organic matter and releases gas, and a chamber where the gas is purified and the resulting biogas is compressed. The main contribution of this scientific development is that methane gas can be compressed and packaged and be used anywhere, even as a substitute of LPG.

The Biodigestor mixes organic matter and water. Closing the system and mixing the elements produces gases that accumulate in the top of the container. Extraction starts 15 days later and results in purified biogas and pressurized methane (the latter is the gas that is used). The residues are removed by gravity and used as a nutrient rich fertilizer.

Methane gas is similar to conventional LP and works with heaters, boilers, gas engines, gas converters, etc. It can replace fuel oil, petroleum, fuel, electricity, etc. It can be used for small-scale farms or isolated houses, but even has more general industrial applications.

The work done by Professor César Gómez Beltrán was developed as part of his doctoral thesis. It was supported by other members of the academic group including Luis Antonio López, Joel Moreira, Osbaldo García, Pascual López, Manuel Vázquez Nangō and Neín Farrera Lenin, the Director of Research Leader at UVM Tuxtla Campus. Students from UVM and Unviersidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas (UNICACH) also participated.

This project was more than three years in the making and was initiated by the need to find a substitute for wood in the manufacture of brick in the downtown area of Chiapas and to reduce deforestation and pollution.

This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.