Biogas is good bet for pineapple waste, ICE says

The state power company says a small pineapple producer can save $450,000 a year by converting crop waste to biogas. And the company said that this also solves other environmental problems.

The gas would be used to generate electricity, said the  Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. The state firm said it had experimented on a small pineapple operation of some three hectares to make the calculations.

The country produces 8 million tons of pineapple waste a year, said the firm.

The agricultural waste represents a big problem. It attracts flies, and processors spend money on chemicals to dry out the waste.

Biogas would solve those problems, said the firm known as ICE. In addition, it said, the digested material that produces biogas would be returned to the soil as fertilizer as would liquid generated by the process.

The calculations showed the the small operation would produce 300 kilowatts a day over 18 hours, which translates to an annual value of $450,000, the firm said.

By generating composed material the farmer also would save the cost of chemical fertilizers, it said. Agrochemical infiltration of ground water and water sources is a big problem. The pineapple monoculture ha increased 42 percent in the last four years, said ICE.

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