Magazine article Geographical

Gas Bags: A German Energy Firm Has Designed 'Biogas Backpacks' in an Effort to Boost Local Energy Businesses in Ethiopia

Magazine article Geographical

Gas Bags: A German Energy Firm Has Designed 'Biogas Backpacks' in an Effort to Boost Local Energy Businesses in Ethiopia

Article excerpt

How can developing countries increase access to energy without worsening poverty or environmental damage? It's a question that development experts have devoted their lives to. Katrin Puetz, the inventor of mobile biogas bags, thinks she may have the answer.

'Biogas bags can be used to store and move methane gas collected from local digesters,' says Puetz, who used to work in ecology before turning her hand to engineering. 'The digester is small, it can hook up under a household or a tent, while the bags are light and easy to carry.'

Designed five years ago in Germany, the digesters break down natural materials--such as dung and food waste--and turn them into methane for cooking. After several successful pilot projects in Ethiopia, Puetz launched the company (B)energy in 2014 with the aim of boosting local enterprise in the African country.

'I designed the backpacks to be part of a sustainable franchise,' Puetz says. The idea is that (B)energy can be used as a catalyst for local businesses. …

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