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Abstract

This is the project proposal of UTP Engineering Team Project Group 110. There are
several themes have been suggested and we have chosen to work on vibrant and sustainable
university campus. After several discussions with our supervisor and team members, we came
up with an idea to resolve the problem of waste management especially in areas such as home
and campus. In this project, we are focusing especially on food wastes such as meat,
vegetables, fruits and other food wastes as well. Based on our small analysis, we are aware that
a sustainable environment is not at its best either in campus or at home due to less awareness
and the minimal effort taken by us as human beings to save our environment. A poor waste
management comes as an example to support the fact that sustainable environment is not at its
best.

Our concern in this issue has led us to come up with a project named Solar-Powered
Biogas Digester where food wastes are utilized to produce biogas via the natural anaerobic
decomposition of organic material at a certain heat level. This biogas digester comes with a
solar powered device which enable us to control the heat level of the waste slurry to optimize
the biogas produced. As an additional information, food waste can be utilized to produce biogas
due to its high biodegradability, calorific value and nutritive value to microbes. Besides, biogas
generated can be stored and be used for heating and cooking at the home scale. We believe
this project idea would significantly make the environment more sustainable.

Also, we would like to express our gratitude to our supervisor Dr. Mior Azman Meor Said
for giving us confidence and freedom to express our ideas at the early stage of our ETP project.
Moreover, we promise to give our best to make this project a success.
Problem Statement

The problem which have been identified as main problem is the improper waste management
either at home scale or in university campus which contributes to overall waste pollution. This
will harm the environment in a slow manner and eventually lead to a less sustainable
environment. As a fact, it has been estimated that by 2050 the world must produce twice as
much food as today due to the increasing human population. The environment can be possibly
harm the most in three stages as stated below:

Food waste generation


Waste is one of the main sources of visual pollution. Similarly, the trashed food waste
will destroy the supposedly harmony and graceful environment. In some cases, a
dumping site will be formed if our unruly behavior is emulated by others. Any food waste
will produce an unpleasant smell in nature and this will eventually lead to smell pollution
which is uncomfortable to people. This applies especially to cafeterias if in university
campus or residential areas. The surrounding air will be filled with bad smell, possibly
attracting insects like flies, mosquitoes and worms which are disgusting if left
uncontrolled.

Collection
The large amount of waste generated daily in Malaysia can only be done by deploying
garbage trucks. And obviously, these trucks run on diesel fuel which is depleting fast. As
a research been made, at least 140 million gallons of fuel required for the sending of the
food waste to the nearby landfills in US. Furthermore, burning of fossil fuel will result in
huge emission of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas leading to global warming.

Landfills
As the food waste will be disposed in landfills, chances problem might arise when waste
does not just decompose and go back into earth. Instead, bacteria will breakdown the
food and release a chemical gas called methane in the dirty dumping sites. Methane
which is one of the greenhouse gases is able to trap heat on earth surface and it has 25
times as what carbon dioxide does. Apart from that, methane also directly contributes to
the degradation of ozone layer. This will definitely lead to a significant environmental
issue which obviously proves the fact that the environment becomes less sustainable.