OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more


People in poor countries consume an average of one tree a day, only to cook. Switching this energy source to small bio-digesters and production of biogas, together with food production represents an important revolution.

Photo of Fabiano Gallindo
3 4

Written by

The Environmental Institute (O Instituto Ambiental - OIA) was founded in 1993 to integrate and distribute technologies for purification of effluent water by recycling nutrients for agriculture, soil protection, and biogas energy production.

The advantage of these integrated technologies over conventional purification is their capacity to clean water using processes that produce revenues and employment instead of only costs. This is achieved by reusing effluent to generate biogas, rebuild the soil, protect against flooding, prevent disease, and eliminate odors. The systems are also scaleable, from small systems of a few square meters for individual families, to large ones for agro-industries.

OIA promotes technology transfer by empowering local people and involving all types of professionals – engineers, educators, construction workers and local leaders. This integration lets communities build and operate systems that work for years.

To meet the urgent demands for this new development paradigm, OIA established a presence in the southern, southeastern, north and northeastern regions of Brazil including the States of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Haiti in Central America and the Caribbean.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jocelyn

Are there low-cost ways to connect a bio-digester to a latrine to capture bio gas and use it for cooking as an energy source for other things?

View all comments