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Jean Pain system

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The heat of a compost heap is used, and biogas is produced at the same time.

The Jean Pain System is a specific type of a compost heater with a combination of aerobic decay of the heap with anaerobic decay in a sealed container in the center of the heap, thus producing both heat and biogas at the same time. Jean Pain Composting is a method to utilize the usable energy, emerging from a composting process, to warm up a building.

Jean Pain was a self taught Frenchman who is believed to have designed this system. He wanted to create a means of achieving (at least partial) energy autonomy, using inexpensive biomass fuel, with a mere mound.

The principle[edit]

Pile a mound of vegetable waste and wait : after a while, an anaerobic fermentation will take place, emitting heat and smell. After a further wait, the mound will turn into a fertilizing compost.

Now grind the material in bits 2-3 mm thick. Build the mound; the aerobic fermentation taking place is odourless and yields more heat. Jean Pain simply placed ground material inside a steel tank fitted with a pipe; the tank was in turn placed into a ground material mound.

The method combines aerobic decay of the heap with anaerobic decay in a sealed container in the center of the heap, thus producing both heat and biogas at the same time.

What does he get out of this ?[edit]

  • Methane. The pipe from the tank drives the methane produced in anaerobic fermentation to truck inner tubes to be stocked. Enough gas is said to be produced to cook and power a (small french) car, but there is doubt about the usable amount for every day's life due to the limited size of the fermentation tank.
  • Hot water. An additional copper tube is coiled around the tanks ; water runs through it and gets hot with the heat that aerobic fermentation provides. Fean Pain designed this, in the first place, to cool the digester. He eventually found that it was useless to do so, but provided enough hot water to use for sanitation and space heating.
  • Compost that can be used for home farming or sold.

External links[edit]