Nepal | Mt. Everest Biogas Project



Project Location:

Base Camp of Mt. Everest, Nepal

Project Partner:

Mt. Everest Foundation and Engineers without Borders

Project Team:

Project Lead – Joe Swain

Structural Engineer – Robert Lawson, Coffman Engineers

Board Liaison – Brian Gerich


Project Description:

AWB is continuing to collaborate with partners at Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and the Mt. Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development on the Mt. Everest Biogas Digester project in Gorak Shep, Nepal. Gorak Shep is located just below Everest Base Camp at the base of the Khumbu Glacier. Every year, over 13 tons of human solid waste is carried by porters in blue barrels from the base camps on Everest, Pumori, Nuptse, and Lhotse. This waste is being dumped in open, unlined pits at Gorak Shep. To alleviate this source of environmental degradation and health risk, the anaerobic digester will treat the pathogens in the human waste and create biogas for the Sherpa community and porters at Gorak Shep.


The digester design will treat a capacity of 6000L of waste in a small building of roughly 34 square meters. This building will likely be constructed of local masonry with a wood frame structure for shear and roof support. The architectural challenge is to keep the digester at room temperature, and not let the temp inside the digester drop below 50 degrees (10C). The building is therefore being designed to maximize passive solar heating when possible and will supplement the digester with PV-electrical heating as necessary. The AWB team is currently working with the Integrated Design Lab to develop insulation fabricated from recycled waste materials brought down from the base camps. The project is now entering into design development and is working towards construction in the spring of 2016.]

This is an active project and more detailed photos and conceptual work will be shared in coming months.




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