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ATEC Biodigester

An innovative social enterprise providing clean energy for 1,300 Cambodian households, borne from an EWB student project.
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The ATEC* biodigester is a system which converts animal, green and kitchen waste into biogas and organic fertilizer, providing clean, off-grid energy and appropriate sanitation in flood prone areas of Cambodia. It has the power to cover all household cooking needs and supply 20 tonnes of organic fertiliser for crops, per year. It has also improved day-to-day household life by removing the indoor pollution and labour associated with woodfuel cooking.

From challenge project to scaleable tech


The ATEC* biodigester was borne from an EWB University Challenge project, and is now a successful social enterprise of which EWB Australia remains a partner. The EWB Challenge project asked students to address the challenges experienced by disadvantaged communities living on and around the water in the Tonle Sap Lake and River in Cambodia. The design brief asked students to conceptualise the issues involved with living on and around the water. EWB Australia iterated and further developed this concept, and the ATEC* biodigester was realised. It demonstrates the opportunity students have to make a real impact on the lives of the world’s most disadvantaged people, through their engineering vision.
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Key benefits

  • Free gas for all cooking needs
  • 20 tons of organic fertiliser
  • Modern kitchen, no smoke or dirty pots
  • Can be easily moved when and where required
  • Export-quality materials, leading Australian design
  • 2-year warranty, after sales service, 25 year life span
  • Flood and high groundwater resistant

By having a biodigester an average Cambodian family will saving an average family $521 per year.

Impact

Since launching as a social enterprise, the biodigester has reached 1,300 households across rural Cambodia, and with a $10 million capital raise in 2019, is set to expand its reach and impact to other countries. It’s estimated that some 205 million farms across Asia could benefit from a biodigester.

Future Goals

Since launching as a social enterprise, the biodigester has reached 1,300 households across rural Cambodia, and with a $10 million capital raise in 2019, is set to expand its reach and impact to other countries. It’s estimated that some 205 million farms across Asia could benefit from a biodigester.

9.5 trillion litres

of eco-friendly renewable biogas (51 million MwH equivalent)

24.6 billion hours

saved from collecting and using wood

1/2 billion tons

of organic fertiliser

$12.4 billion

net income increase in households

5.4 million tons

of forest wood conserved

75 million tons

of Greenhouse Gas reductions

A payback of $16 for every $1 spent on the unit