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Mexico: Take a tour of the world's first cactus-powered biogas plant02:04

Mexico: Take a tour of the world's first cactus-powered biogas plant

Mexico, Zitacuaro
February 22, 2016 at 19:23 GMT +00:00 · Published

Renewable energy specialists Nopalimex gave a tour of the world's first cactus-powered biogas plant in Zitacuaro, Michoacan, on Monday.

The plant is home to a farm which grows prickly pear cacti, which is cut down and fed into a digester. The cacti are pureed and mixed with manure and left to decompose in order to produce methane. So far, the plant produces 800 tons of biogas per hectare each year.

The brains behind the idea was Rogelio Sosa Lopez, the owner of a tortilla company which still exists on site, who was using cacti on his farm to flavour his products and make them more nutritious.

"I realised that it is not only suitable to make 'tortilla', but it also was possible to make electric energy and gas out of it," he said. Following the discovery, Lopez received financial support from the government to invest in special equipment and expand the plant.

The plant's expansion comes just a month after Mexican lawmakers signed an “energy transition law” which aims to have 35% of the country's energy provided for by renewables by 2024.

Mexico: Take a tour of the world's first cactus-powered biogas plant02:04
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Description

Renewable energy specialists Nopalimex gave a tour of the world's first cactus-powered biogas plant in Zitacuaro, Michoacan, on Monday.

The plant is home to a farm which grows prickly pear cacti, which is cut down and fed into a digester. The cacti are pureed and mixed with manure and left to decompose in order to produce methane. So far, the plant produces 800 tons of biogas per hectare each year.

The brains behind the idea was Rogelio Sosa Lopez, the owner of a tortilla company which still exists on site, who was using cacti on his farm to flavour his products and make them more nutritious.

"I realised that it is not only suitable to make 'tortilla', but it also was possible to make electric energy and gas out of it," he said. Following the discovery, Lopez received financial support from the government to invest in special equipment and expand the plant.

The plant's expansion comes just a month after Mexican lawmakers signed an “energy transition law” which aims to have 35% of the country's energy provided for by renewables by 2024.

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