• SPARK’s 3 Little Pigs biogas plant tops the chart of DESIGN POWER 100

    27 April 2020

    SPARK’s 3 Little Pigs biogas plant has topped the chart of China’s DESIGN POWER 100, an award that assembles the best designs produced in China in 2019. Themed “Hello Future”, the brightest ideas across the disciplines of sustainability, health, lifestyle and technology were judged by a panel composed of industrial designers, art curators, designers and educators from Beijing Tsinghua, Shanghai Tongji and Guangzhou universities.


    SPARK’s 3 little pigs was selected from a list of 400 entries. 3 Little Pigs supports the Chinese Government’s efforts to tackle the countrywide problem water pollution caused by the waste from animal farming entering the fresh water supply.


    45 sqm | Research, Boutique scale, Sustainability

    China’s rapid urbanisation, the exodus of many from the countryside to the city and the general increase in wealth of the average Chinese citizen has led to many changes to the fabric of society, one of which perhaps not so often discussed is the increase in the consumption of meat. This has had profound implications on the Chinese farming industry particularly Pig farming (pork being far the most popular type of meat consumed nationally). Pre1970 Pig farms were mostly owned by single families now farms have increased in size with a substantial percentage becoming industrialised. Only 5% of manure was dumped into rivers.

    The impact of China’s agricultural transition, the surging appetite for meat and the associated expansion of farm size resulted in 30% to 70% of manure being dumped directly into rivers.

    China is the world’s largest Pig farmer, there is 1 Pig for every 3 people. The Pig enjoys an exalted status in Chinese culture as a lucky creature symbolising prosperity and peace, but environmentalists say the average Chinese citizen does not connect their love of pork to water pollution.

    SPARK’s 3 Little Pigs  is a 360 degree lifecycle proposal that provides small pig farms with a system that positively manages Pig manure and turns into biogas and fertiliser; this has the key advantage of keeping the manure out of the fresh water system eliminating dangerous water eutrophication ( when a body of water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients)increasing growth of plants and algae and killing aquatic life through oxygen depletion in the water.

    SPARK’s 3 little Pigs biogas plant is composed of 2 elements

    • The Biogas Dome

    The biogas dome is manufactured from fibreglass and buried underground, the dome is an anaerobic digester and converts the Pig manure to biogas. The gas can be used for cooking and heating or generating electricity.

    • The 3 Little Pigs gas holders

    The gas created in the dome is stored under pressure in 3 custom Pig shaped double membrane PVC envelopes that have a combined capacity of 400 cubic meters. The gas dome and gas holders are easily transportable and reusable so can be move to different locations if required.

    Read the interview on “Design and our future” with SPARK Founder and director Stephen Pimbley and  DESIGN POWER 100. 

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