RedBioLAC

Network of Biodigesters for Latin America and the Caribbean (RedBioLAC)

RedBioLAC is a consolidated and very active network of individuals and organisations involved in applied research, implementation and advocacy on biodigesters. Their aim is to contribute to the proper management of natural resources while promoting socio-economic wellbeing in Latin American and Caribbean.

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RedBioLAC Webinar on "Biogás en la producción de café"

News from WISIONS posted on July 28th, 2019

Our partner RedbioLAC just announced the new date of their insightful webinar about the use of biodigesters in coffee production. It will take place on 31st July on 8:00 A.M. CST (16:00 P.M. CEST). Register here following the link! The webinar will be in Spanish only!Register here! Read moreMinimize

Registrese aquí!

La caficultura es una de las principales actividades agrícolas en América Latina donde se involucran más de quince millones de familias. Es uno de las principales fuentes de ingreso en las exportaciones de países de América Latina y Africa.

 

El impacto ambiental de esta actividad es positivo, en cuanto representa servicios ambientales para países como El Salvador en donde los cafetales son los bosques del país. 

Sin embargo, en el tema de recursos hídricos estos están comprometidos por la contaminación que se genera en el beneficiado húmedo del café uva/cereza. Por tonelada de café uva/cereza se emplean hasta 8 m3 de agua, aportando una contaminación de 24 kg D.Q.O que en habitantes equivalentes representa 400 h.e.

 

La normativa ambiental en los países cafetaleros es cada vez mas estricta y limita la competitividad de la caficultura para los procesos de certificación de café sostenible. En este contexto es que se debe hacer un programa de manejo de los subproductos del café generados: agua de despulpado, lavado y la pulpa de café.

 

Se han venido desarrollando experiencias en el manejo y aprovechamiento de los subproductos del beneficiado del café desde los años 50 del siglo pasado pero estos esfuerzos no tienen la difusión necesaria para aprovecharlo en los países cafetaleros.

 

En la experiencia particular hemos trabajado el tratamiento anaeróbico con diferentes tipos de biodigestores en pequeña y mediana escala, así como en el manejo de la pulpa de café. También se han acompañado las experiencias de mejoramiento del beneficiado húmedo ´por medio de “PM+L” y buenas prácticas de manufactura.

 

 

La intención de compartir la experiencia es que se motive a mejorar la caficultura para beneficio de nuestros países y la competitividad de los productores y principalmente proteger los recursos hídricos que cada vez son mas escasos y mas contaminados


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Upcoming events

The 11th Annual Conference of RedBioLAC ("Encuentro RedBioLAC") will take place from 14 – 18 October 2019 in Varadero, Cuba. More information available here.

You can find information on upcoming RedBioLAC webinars here: RedBioLAC webinar series




Introduction

Biodigesters can help to improve the livelihoods of rural households in the Global South in different ways. They allow treating flows of organic waste, thereby improving the in-farm management of soil. The by-product of the treatment is biogas, a combustible gas which can replace other unsustainable fuels. Additionally the effluent and sludge produced by the process are of great value as organic fertilizer. In Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a long history of initiatives which have adapted, tested and further developed small and medium-sized biogas technologies. However, back in 2009, avenues for exchanging experiences were almost non-existent, especially for practitioners active in the field.

RedBioLAC came into existence in 2009, following a WISIONS SEPS project (Biogas Digester Innovations In Latin America), which focused on sharing experiences on the use of biodigesters in Latin America. This first exchange gave impetus to the idea of establishing a network to promote knowledge sharing between research, development and advocacy groups involved with biogas technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The network was formalised at a meeting in 2010 in Costa Rica.

Vision & Goals

RedBioLAC’s vision is to become the leading organisation providing research, development, implementation and advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for the use of biodigesters to stimulate the sustainable management of natural resources and promote people’s socioeconomic wellbeing in LAC.
RedBioLAC’s brings together institutions related to applied research and the dissemination of anaerobic biodigestion to achieve the following objectives:


  • Exchange information, knowledge and experiences among participating institutions
  • Identify and overcome technical, environmental, social and economic barriers in the field of biogas
  • Propose projects, mechanisms and ideas to disseminate biodigester technology within LAC
  • Generate alliances that facilitate the adoption of biodigester technology
  • Systematise research and disseminate findings among partners, and share insights with related fields including health, financing, policy, education, industry and marketing
  • Promote the inclusion of other organisations, institutions and researchers in the field of biodigesters
  • Promote actions to advocate and influence policies related to biodigesters

Activities

RedBioLAC is a very active platform for knowledge exchange, development and dissemination. This is achieved via diverse methods and activities, specifically through the annual conference, annual magazine, e-learning, online library and forum. Additionally, two areas of activity fostering knowledge creation and dissemination have emerged recently: working groups and a student internship programme. Find more about these activities below.

Annual Event and magazine

The annual conference provides a dynamic opportunity for interaction between experts, relevant stakeholders and interested audiences in general. The conference format entails not only presentations and discussions about the latest developments, but also training courses on basic biogas technologies and field visits.

2018 marked the 10th Annual RedBioLAC Conference, which took place from 17 – 21 September 2018 in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. A video summarising the conference is available on Facebook, along with photos of the event.

Since 2017 the network has published an annual magazine to showcase academic research, case studies, scientific groups, technical factsheets and advertise projects, programmes, companies, and services on biogas.
You can download RedBioLAC’s magazines here.

Online Platform and Library

Of the network's online tools, the discussion forum is the liveliest area for interaction, with more than 900 participating subscribers. Almost 500 topics are available on the forum, providing a rich source of knowledge on anaerobic digestion as applied in the region

A broad variety of publications on a number of topics can be found in the online library.

Knowledge exchange

Topic-specific working groups aim to involve network members in the development of collaborative projects in order to address specific knowledge gaps (e.g. technical issues, management monitoring and impact assessment) or to strengthen collaboration at sub-regional levels (e.g. the ‘southern cone’, the ‘Andean countries’, the Caribbean states and Central America).

The student internship programme aims to facilitate and support applied research on topics relevant to network members by involving students at the advanced stage of their studies. This serves to address knowledge gaps, while simultaneously contributing to international knowledge-sharing and capacity-building of the next generation of experts and decision-makers.


Coordination & Support

The network is supported by several organisations, one of which is the WISIONS initiative. The coordination of the RedBioLAC is led by Mariela Pino (left). 

The network's secretariat is run by the organisation GreenEmpowerment.