Biogas is a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter equivalent to food scraps and animal waste. It can be used in a variety of ways together with as vehicle fuel and for heating and electricity generation. Read on to be taught more.

What is biogas? How is biogas produced?

Biogas is an environmentally-friendly, renewable energy source.

It’s produced when organic matter, akin to food or animal waste, is broken down by microorganisms within the absence of oxygen, in a process called anaerobic digestion. For this to take place, the waste materials must be enclosed in an atmosphere the place there is no oxygen.

It can occur naturally or as part of an industrial process to deliberately create biogas as a fuel.

What kind of waste can be used to produce biogas?

A wide variety of waste material breaks down into biogas, including animal manure, municipal garbage/ waste, plant material, meals waste or sewage.

Which gases does biogas contain?

Biogas consists mainly of methane and carbon dioxide. It could possibly also include small quantities of hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and a few moisture. The relative quantities of those fluctuate depending on the type of waste concerned within the production of the ensuing biogas.

What can biogas be used for?

To fuel vehicles – if biogas is compressed it can be utilized as a vehicle fuel.

As a replacement for natural gas – if biogas is cleaned up and upgraded to natural gas standards, it’s then known as biomethane and can be used in the same way to methane; this can include for cooking and heating.

Biogas: 6 fascinating information

1. Biogas is a gas of many names

Biogas is most commonly additionally known as biomethane. It’s additionally sometimes called marsh gas, sewer gas, compost gas and swamp gas within the US.

Biogas is a naturally occurring and renewable source of energy, resulting from the breakdown of natural matter. Biogas is not to be confused with ‘natural’ gas, which is a non-renewable source of power.

2. Biogas and biomass: similarities and variations

Biomass and biogas are both biofuels; they are often burnt to produce energy. However biomass is the strong, natural material. Biomass has been used as an energy supply since humans first discovered fire and burnt wood, plants and animal dung to create energy.

Immediately, many energy stations run by burning a biomass of compressed wood pellets – a by-product of timber and furniture-making. By replacing fossil-fuel coal, biomass enables renewable electricity to be produced.

3. Biogas shouldn’t be a new discovery

The anaerobic process of decomposition (or fermentation) of natural matter has been occurring in nature for millions of years, even before fossil fuels, and continues to happen throughout us within the natural world. Immediately’s industrial conversion of natural waste into energy in biogas plants is simply fast-forwarding nature’s ability to recycle its useful resources.

The first human use of biogas is believed thus far back to 3,000BC within the Center East, when the Assyrians used biogas to heat their baths.

A seventeenth century chemist, Jan Baptist van Helmont, discovered that flammable gases might come from decaying natural matter. Van Helmont can be responsible for bringing the word ‘gas’, from the Greek word chaos, into the science vocabulary.

The first giant anaerobic digestion plant dates back to 1859 in a leper colony in Bombay.

An inventive Victorian engineer, John Webb from Birmingham, created the Sewage Lamp, which transformed sewage into biogas to light street lamps. The only remaining Webb Sewer Lamp in London is now just off The Strand in Carting Lane – or as some wags would have it, Farting Lane.

Anaerobic digestion was used as a means to treat municipal wastewater, earlier than chemical treatments. In the growing world the anaerobic process is still recognised as a cheap, natural various to chemicals and the reduction of dysentery bacteria.

And let’s not neglect that in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome the put up-apocalyptic settlement Bartertown, run by Tina Turner’s terrifying Aunty Entity, is powered by a pig-farm biogas system with biogas used to energy the desert-chasing vehicles.

4. At the moment China leads the world in the use of biogas

China has the biggest number of biogas plants, with an estimated 50 million households utilizing biogas. These are principally in rural areas and small-scale house and village plants.

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