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2008, Living Mandala
creative services by: 360 Degrees

Learn How To:

    * Make and Use Biogas,

    * Save Money on Fuel, &

    * Build and Sell Biogas Digesters!

In Association With

Vahid Biogas

Commercial Aquaponics Course


David William House

-Author of the Complete Biogas Handbook

Biogas in a Nutshell

Biogas is a naturally produced fuel, capable of powering stoves, lights, refrigerators, and anything that natural gas or propane can power. It is a gas composed almost entirely of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and methane (CH4) produced by a composting process, where air is excluded: anaerobic digestion. You know how hot a compost pile gets? Take all that energy, double it and add some more: That’s how much energy you get out the same materials put in a biogas digester. Almost anything that was once alive can produce biogas, but plants provide a good deal more biogas than manure, pound for pound.

Course Description

Would you like to know how to generate biogas? What produces it and how to use it? The attend this workshop! You will get complete information about how to understand, successfully make and properly use biogas (first day), and how to make simple, effective, low–cost digesters (second day: hands-on!). You will learn a good deal about the tools and techniques required to build fairly large digesters. For example, a 3,000 gal— 10m3— digester will accept all the food wastes from a local fast food outlet, using the tools and techniques taught in this class. Everyone who attends the first day of class will get a copy of The Complete Biogas Handbook (which offers a much-praised view of everything concerning biogas). Those who attend the second day will get a CD with a heap of wonderful information, including more than 2 megabytes of information about how to build all kinds of biogas digesters. And, the first twenty who attend both days will leave with a small (~200 gal, ~0.75 m3) digester. How cool is that?

What is Biogas?

Biogas is the gaseous emissions from anaerobic degradation of organic matter (from plants or animals) by a consortium of bacteria.  Biogas is principally a mixture of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other trace gases.  Biogas is produced in all natural environments that have low levels of oxygen (O2) and have degradable organic matter present.  These natural sources of biogas include: aquatic sediments, wet soils, buried organic matter, animal and insect digestive tracts, and in the core of some trees.  Human activities create additional sources including landfills, waste lagoons, and waste storage structures.  Atmospheric emissions of biogas from natural and man-made sources contribute to climate change due to methane’s potent greenhouse gas properties.  Biogas technology permits the recovery of biogas from anaerobic digestion of organic matter using sealed vessels, and makes the biogas available for use as fuel for direct heating, electrical generation or mechanical power and other uses.  Biogas is often made from wastes but can be made from biomass energy feedstocks as well. (Info & photo below from University of FL)

Why Biogas?

  1. *It’s simple

  2. *It can be really inexpensive to build a biogas “digester”

  3. *And it offers far more energy per unit land than either ethanol or biodiesel

Energy From Biogas

Many studies show that when converting plant matter from a given unit of land into biogas vs. ethanol or biodiesel, biogas wins the contest big time, offering (for example) eight times the net energy of ethanol. (It offers lower greenhouse gas emissions than either ethanol or biodiesel as well.) For example:

Biogas as An Alternative Fuel

(If) “30 percent of the land is planted to corn, an area with an 8-mile radius will produce enough cornstalks to supply a city of 80,000 inhabitants continuously. In other words, the cornstalks from one acre will produce the gas for one person for a year.”

- From The Complete Biogas Handbook. That means you can provide the natural gas requirements of a city of 80,000 with the agricultural waste left in the fields nearby!

This information and technology is a must have for local first, alternative energy folks. Using just leaves and grass clippings + kitchen waste, you can provide a significant fraction of your energy requirements.


For questions and more information regarding the course


phone: 707-634-1461

To Register Click Here.


Tuition & Registration

Biogas Workshop (Full Two Days): $275

Aquaponics Course or PDC Graduates: $225

Biogas Class (Day 1 Only): $125

This 2 Day Intensive Includes:

  1. * A copy of The Complete Biogas Handbook - known as the bible of biogas. (Includes those who just come on Day 1)

  2. *Biogas CD with more info including how-to build all kinds of biogas digesters. (Day 2 Participants Only)

  3. * Catered lunch on both days, light breakfast, snacks, & beverages.

  4. *Build and take home your own your own biogas digester! (~200 gal, ~0.75 m3).

* Note: The take home Biodigester is only available to the first 20 participants and costs an additional $25. If you want a kit, register soon!

Take Home Your Own Biogas Digester!

The second day of the course will be hands-on. Participants will  apply the information learned in the first day of the course and actually build biogas digesters. The biogas digesters built during the workshop are available to the first 20 students for an additional materials cost on a first come first serve basis. Register soon to reserve your space to take home one of the biogas digesters.

Commercial Aquaponics Workshop

This course will directly follow an in debth Commercial Aquaponics Training With Applied Permaculture Design.

Aquaponics is one of the most sustainable and productive farming systems in the world. It combines Aquaculture and Hydroponics to create a truly self-sufficient closed loop system that uses only a fraction of the water, labor, energy, etc. that other methods use. NorCal Aquaponics Systems incorporates biogas digesters into Aquaponics Systems Designs. In this intensive training you will learn some of the most cutting edge pioneering aquaponics systems and gain a solid foundation from which to create your own Aquaponics System, Farm & thriving Green Business. For More Information on the Commercial Aquaponics Training Click Here.

Snail Mail

To complete your registration via mail, send the full name of the course registrant(s) with a check or money order out to "Living Mandala" and mail to:

Living Mandala

Attn: Biogas Workshop

P.O. Box 704

Sebastopol, CA 95473

Refund Policy

Cancellations up to 2 weeks before the course before May 7rg will be refunded, excluding a $75 processing fee. No refunds are given after April 22.

Biogas Facts

As you may know, a properly–built ordinary (aerobic) compost pile will get very hot (sometimes as much as 150°F — 70°C). So much kinetic energy (moving; hard to capture and use) is released from the breakdown of compost materials! A lot, yes, but more than twice the amount of energy in that kinetic heat is released as potential energy (stored; easy to capture and use) in the bonds of the methane molecule in biogas. Look at the chart below. You can see that 90% is more than twice as much as 40%.



David William House

David William House has had a rich and varied career, is widely experienced in several fields in appropriate technology and business. Self-described as solving interesting and complex problems for complex and interesting people, David does international consulting work in business & appropriate technology through his consultancy firm - Vahid Biogas. David also teaches workshops and has lectured in more in more than 20 countries worldwide. He is the author of The Complete Biogas Handbook, said by some to be the bible of biogas. David will be presenting cutting edge information on biogas, bio digesters, and appropriate technology related to aquaponic systems.

David’s Professional Experience includes:

  1.   Author of Methane Systems, The Complete Biogas Handbook, Journey (a book of poetry), and co-author of Wind & Windspinners

  2. Established Earthmind, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization pursuing research and offering information about ecological living 

  3. Created Computer Classroom, a computer training company

  4. Founder of ICI, a computer hardware and software sales company

  5. As a computer management consultant working primarily along the West coast of the US, developed internal training systems and company-wide standards for clients, programmed a custom application for the US government, and solved problems for some of the largest businesses in the Northwest

  6. An internal audit of one company which had been a long-term client found that the company had saved several hundred thousand dollars as a result of innovations in its processes introduced through his consulting services

  7. As CEO, ran a medical device company (successfully sold in 2007)

  8. Re-established the company's manufacturing system, improved quality and reduced the cost of manufacture of the company’s primary device by more than 70%

  9. Published in an international journal regarding tinnitus

  10. Awarded a patent (USPTO 7,266,209; or see Google’s version) for a new technology (ultrasonic electrical stimulus) relating to cochlear implants

  11. Recently featured in an article on American Public Media’s Marketplace

  12. Featured Columnist for Renewable Energy World

Affiliate Organizations & Sponsors

Become a sponsor or affiliate of this course!

For details email:

For Upcoming Courses, Workshops, & Events in Permaculture, Ecovillage Design, Sustainable Living Skills,

Appropriate Tecnology & More Click Here.


Biogas Digester Workshop

Appropriate Technology Series

May 21-22, 2011

Ukiah, California