January 16, 2013
Just before heading to Mercy College in New York to teach, Culhane was invited to do a biogas workshop at Damanhur Eco-community in northern Italy. Simon Westermann, who had assisted Culhane in his biogas workshop in Budapest a year earlier, surprised Culhane by taking him to a laboratory. At the laboratory in Westermann and Damanhurian scientists had constructed a couple of Solar CITIES IBC biodigesters and were experimenting with running a small generator from the gas. Then they bubbled the resultant CO2 through an algae tank and fed the algage back to the digester—a very effective way of closing the loop indeed! Note that the biogas digester itself, besides needing to be insulated to stay warm, absolutely needs to be opaque or algae will grow in it, produce oxygen, and kill the methanogens!