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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Approach to identify suitable regions for biogas production in data-poor countries: case study Togo

Friederike Naegeli de Torres1, Sebastian Semella2, Jérémie Fontodji3, Tcha Thom Maglwa4, Edem Koledzi5, Nils Engler6, Komi Agboka7

1German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ), Bioenergy Systems, Germany
2German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ), Bioenergy Systems, Germany
3University of Lomé, Laboratory of Forest Research, Taiwan
4University of Lomé, Laboratory of Waste Management, Treatment and Recovery (Laboratory GTVD), Togo
5University of Lomé, Laboratory of Waste Management, Treatment and Recovery (Laboratory GTVD), Togo
6German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ), Biochemical Conversion, Germany
7University of Lomé, West African Science Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Togo


Despite great efforts and noticeable positive trends, access to electricity or clean energy sources for cooking in Togo is still very low. This is particularly true in rural areas where extracting wood for cooking is a common practice and a reason for ongoing deforestation. As a consequence, forest cover has been reduced continuously over the last decades and it is of outmost importance to protect the remaining forest fragments. Therefore, substitutes for firewood and charcoal for cooking are urgently needed. Using residual biomass in e.g. pyrolysis cookers or in small to medium scale biogas plants could increase energy sovereignty for rural communities and decrease the necessity of using firewood and charcoal. Overall, this is in line with different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and may contribute in particular to improve clean cooking (SDG 7), reduce GHG emissions (SDG 13) and counteract land degradation and deforestation (SDG 15).

However, studies of saving potentials and effects are hampered by a lack of data on the temporal and spatial availability of biomass and biowaste. Hence, as part of the larger cooperation project "LabTogo" funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), we conducted a spatial analysis to identify suitable regions for biogas production. We used a set of freely available spatial input data, such as information on agricultural production, street networks and population distribution. In addition, field data collection was conducted to gather information on possible point-sources of biogenic agricultural residues or animal excrements. Different locations of animal farms, slaughterhouses, oil palm plantations, industrial sites, and others were mapped and amounts of organic residues were estimated. Furthermore, we used technology-specific information such as substrate input requirements to identify regions where enough substrates are available according to different technological options and scales. We analysed all data using R and GIS providing a set of maps indicating suitable areas for different technologies for biogas production.

The created data on the available biomass resources and the elaborated maps built a sound data base that can support decision making by stakeholders and policy makers.

Keywords: Agricultural residues, biogas production, biomass availability, GIS, site selection, spatial analysis

Contact Address: Friederike Naegeli de Torres, German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ), Bioenergy Systems, Torgauer Str. 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany, e-mail: friederike.naegeli@dbfz.de

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