In Xinjiang of China, the rural residents have stopped using firewood and turned to methane gas since two years ago. Before this, each family burnt about 500 kilograms of poplar and Chinese tamarisk that are used to mitigate desertification. Annually, 170 000 tons of trees and shrubs are burnt for cooking.
"I don't need to buy firewood anymore, as methane gas is cleaner and more convenient," said a villager, Bisumihan.
Since 2003, the Chinese government has invested about USD 27million in installing methane gas facilities derived from waste management. Since then, deforestation has been reduced to minimum. In addition, residents are encouraged to plant new trees that resist desertification, such as poplars, desert dates and sea buckthorns.
A Different Kind of Cake, Even More Sustainable!
In India, China and Nepal, government-support schemes have ensured the program success. With the increase in cost of fossil fuels and the financial returns from the generated carbon credits, biogas is becoming more popular and viable in many developing agricultural countries.
Use in Developed Countries
In the UK and other developed countries, renewed interests on the once abandoned programs are picking up due to hike in oil price and problems arising from waste-related pollution.
Experts say if projects to produce ethanol from commercial waste are increased, what we throw away could soon be used to power our cars.
The environmental and financial benefits of putting waste to good use are currently being explored in order to develop technology to produce bioethanol.
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