Indonesia experiments with tofu-powered homes

In the village of Kalisari on the island of Java, Indonesia, 100 homes are being provided with gas for cooking and heating using a by-product of tofu making.

Around four gallons of water are used to create a pound of tofu. The system works by treating the waste liquid with bacteria to create biogas that can be used to heat stoves that would previously have run on gas or wood. It also disposes of the tofu wastewater, which used to pollute rivers and rice fields.

The idea is being trialed by the council. Aziz Masruri, head of Kalisari local government, said: "The environment here was very polluted. It stank, and it was affecting our agriculture.

"We hope next year we can become an energy efficient village, free of pollution."

Officials from other villages have been to Kalisari to see how the process works, and are developing their own systems.

If all of Indonesia used this method around 56,000 tons of fossil fuels would be saved each year.

Indonesia’s government has pledged to get 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025; it is presently one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

Image: A house in Madiun, Indonesia (CEphoto, Uwe Aranas/Wikimedia Commons)

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