German Startup Franchises Biogas Bag Business in Africa
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
German social enterprise B-Energy has developed portable “digester” bags that produce methane gas out of food waste or animal droppings, which can help low-income entrepreneurs in the global South make a living through a franchise model, BBC Newsreports.
The bags, which are heat and fire resistant, come with a tap and pipe that users can attach to a gas stove. They hold up to 1.2 cubic meters of gas — enough for about five hours of cooking.
Currently, the business still is in its early stages, with two franchisees in Ethiopia and one in Sudan. B-Energy hopes its bags can serve as a clean, cheap alternative to cooking on smoky, polluting wood fires, which is common in both of these countries and throughout the world’s poorest regions.
The company hasn’t determined how much franchisees will need to pay for their first digester and bags, but estimates a price of between $441 and $900 depending on the country, BBC News reports. Extra empty gas bags will each cost $48.