Biogas solves two problems for pork

Pork producers have two major problems. The first is the manure produced by the animals. This can be a pollutant and put unpleasant odors all over the region.

The second problem is competing with international producers who process more pigs in a day than Costa Rica does in a year.

A biogas digester is one solution to both problems.

Seven pork producers have installed devices to convert the manure to biogas. They have reported that by using the gas to heat stalls containing piglets, they have cut their energy costs up to 60 percent. The system eliminates up to 90 percent of the unpleasant odors, the producers reported. A bonus is the fertilizer produced by the process.

Being used is a system provided by the Heredia firm of Viogaz.

A typical pork operation in Costa Rica might produce 40 to 100 piglets a month. Keeping them cozy is expensive, particularly in the colder months. There are about 780,000 piglets produced a year in Costa Rica, so the cost of keeping them warm is a major budgetary item.

The pork producers using the system are in Alajuela, Cartago, Limón, San José and Guanacaste, said the firm.

The heater to keep young pigs warm looks a lot like a spacecraft.

The heater to keep young pigs warm looks a lot like a spacecraft.

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