Practical Action: Technology Challenging Poverty
Practical Answers aims to enable access for all to the wealth of technical knowledge produced within Practical Action, and from our partners. Accessible to all freely, including last-mile development practitioners, so that the hardest-to-reach communities can change their world. We believe that people who need knowledge most should have access to relevant information, in the right format, at the right time and in the right place.
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Small-Scale Drying Technologies
Globally, drying is the most widely used method for preserving foods for use in the home or for sale. When drying foods such as fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts value is added by drying and in such cases an investment in improved drying technologies may be economically viable. This technical brief describes improved systems suitable for use by small scale producers.
Drying of Foods
There are two main reasons for drying food:
- to prevent (or inhibit) the growth and activity of micro-organisms and hence preserve the food
- to reduce the weight and bulk of food for cheaper transport and storage.
This technical brief describes some of the requirements for proper drying and summarises information on the various drying equipment available.
Biogas - 2007-01-01
Biogas is a well-established fuel for cooking and lighting in a number of countries. It is a gas mixture comprising around 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide that is formed when organic materials, such as dung or vegetable matter are broken down by microbiological activity in the absence of air, at slightly elevated temperatures (most effective between 30 - 40°C or 50 - 60°C). This is the same process as that which occurs naturally at the bottom of ponds and marshes and gives rise to marsh gas or methane.