A new chapter in a decade-long history of a Michoacán business commenced yesterday in Zitácuaro when the first industrial plant in Mexico dedicated to obtaining biogas and generating electricity from nopal, or prickly pear cactus, began operations.
The Nopalimex plant is expected to produce three million liters of biogas every year, enough to meet 50% of the fuel needs of the vehicle fleet operated by the municipality of Zitácuaro.
The company says that a cubic meter of the biogas it produces is equivalent to a liter of gasoline, but is 40% cheaper.
While the main focus of the new plant will be to obtain biogas and electricity, some byproducts will include ethanol, nopal for human consumption, humus and nitrogen-rich water that can be used as a fertilizer.
Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo said at the plant’s opening ceremony that more municipalities and producers will be encouraged to participate in the innovative energy production initiative.
“I have been promoting this great idea, that we can create a green park from Cuitzeo Lake to Lázaro Cárdenas where we can grow nopal and install several biogas plants along the Siglo XXI highway, boosting the use of this resource,” he said.
The governor’s intention is to have all public transportation vehicles in the state convert to biogas engines, a process that costs between 25,000 and 30,000 pesos (US $1,300 and 1,500) per vehicle.
Source: El Financiero (sp)