Feasibility of using Biogas digesters as a Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) Management Tool in a Developing Country: A Ghanaian Case Study

  • Emmanuel Essien University of Ghana
Keywords: Net Present Value (NPV), Palm oil mill effluent (POME), Biogas, Economic feasibility, Profitability analysis, Bio-digester


This study investigates the economic feasibility of using biogas digesters for Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) management by artisanal palm oil millers in Ghana. A 20 m3 and 40 m3 digesters were piloted in two (2) regions in Ghana and data on parameters such as total cost of an operational system, gas production per day,
operation cost, and possible selling price for the biogas and liquid produced taken. These system operating parameters coupled with exchange and interest rates were used to compute the Net Present Value (NPV) and Payback Period (PBP) to examine the profitability (NPV >0) of running the system as a business. The base case scenario showed profitability as the NPV was $ 457,881 for the 20 m2 and $ 922,062 for the 40 m3 systems. The PBP of the 20 m3 and 40 m3 were 0.08 years and 0.06 years respectively. The systems were still profitable even with ± 5 % variation in all the system operational parameters. The analysis showed the suitability of using this technology for small scale processors in the management of POME to stop environmental degradation. The analysis also shows the sustainability of the technology in a developing country context.

Author Biography

Emmanuel Essien, University of Ghana

Department of Agricultural Engineering