|Biogas Plants in Animal Husbandry (GTZ, 1989)|
|7. Plant operation, maintenance and repair|
Biogas is a combustible, explosive gas. Its safe handling and use
can be ensured, or at least promoted, by:
- educational measures and operating instructions
- good, careful planning and execution
- timely detection of damage and gas leaks
- installation of safety equipment
Safety aspects of planning and implementation
The following basic rules should be adhered to:
- plant located outside of buildings used for other purposes, e.g. stablings
- underground installation of pipes
- no use of hoses
- careful installation and regular inspection of gas pipes
- regular inspection of gas appliances
- good ventilation of rooms containing gas appliances without safety pilots
- installation of safety stop valves
- one directly on the plant, and another on each appliance.
Educational measures and operating instructions
The user must be made fully aware of the explosive nature of
biogas, possibly by way of demonstration (e.g. by producing a flash flame). He
must learn by heart the following basic rules:
- Never leave an open flame unattended!
- Always close the gas and safety valves of each appliance properly and immediately after each use!
- Close the plant's safety valves each night and whenever the plant is left unattended!
Experience shows that leaks and open gas cocks can be detected very quickly, i.e. before an explosive mixture forms, by watching for the conspicuous odor of unburned biogas.
As long as the above safety aspects are adhered to, small biogas plants in rural areas require few or no special safety devices, the one major exception being appliances that operate on their own, i.e. refrigerators, radiant heaters, etc., in which case the use of safety pilots is obligatory.