Jean pain process is an amazingly simple and incredibly inexpensive system of extracting both energy and fertilizer from plant life. This process is a boon for rural women since it goes a long way in overcoming the shortage of fuel, especially in hilly areas.


This power plant supplies 100 percent of a rural household's energy needs. It is a mound of tiny brushwood pieces (3 metres high and 6 across). This compost mound is made of tree limbs and pulverized underbrush. The 50 ton compost is a steel tank with a capacity of 4 cubic metres. It is three fourths full of the same compost, which has first been steeped in water for 2 months. The tank is hemetically sealed, but is connected by a tubing of 24 truck tyre inner tubes, banked near by a reservoir for the methane gas produced as the compost ferments. 



Once the gas is distilled - washed through small stones in water and compressed, it is used for cooking food and producing electricity. (It can even fuel a truck as 10 kilos of brushwood supply the gas equivalent of a litre of petrol). It takes about 90 day to produce 500 cubic metres of gas - enough to keep two ovens and three burner stoves going for a year.  The methane-fuelled combustion engine, that turns a generator, produces 100 watts of electricity every hour.  This charges an accumulative battery which stores the current, providing all the light needed for the household. 

A 200 metre long plastic tube, wound around the tank, provides hot water at ~ degrees centigrade for 18 months due to the heat-giving fermentation process. Once inside, the hot water circulates through radiators and heats the house during winters. Once the fermentation is over, the fermented compost provides 50 tonnes of nitrogen-rich manure or natural fertilizer. 


Ida Et Jean Pain Les Terepliers, 83930 Ville Croze, France