Biogas is a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter resembling food scraps and animal waste. It can be utilized in quite a lot of ways together with as vehicle fuel and for heating and electricity generation. Read on to learn more.
What’s biogas? How is biogas produced?
Biogas is an environmentally-friendly, renewable energy source.
It’s produced when organic matter, such as food or animal waste, is broken down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen, in a process called anaerobic digestion. For this to take place, the waste material needs to be enclosed in an setting where there is no such thing as a oxygen.
It will probably happen naturally or as part of an industrial process to deliberately create biogas as a fuel.
What sort of waste can be utilized to produce biogas?
A wide variety of waste material breaks down into biogas, including animal manure, municipal rubbish/ waste, plant materials, meals waste or sewage.
Which gases does biogas comprise?
Biogas consists primarily of methane and carbon dioxide. It could possibly also include small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and a few moisture. The relative quantities of these fluctuate depending on the type of waste involved within the production of the resulting 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 an identical way to methane; this can include for cooking and heating.
Biogas: 6 fascinating info
1. Biogas is a gas of many names
Biogas is most commonly additionally known as biomethane. It’s additionally generally called marsh gas, sewer gas, compost gas and swamp gas in the US.
Biogas is a naturally occurring and renewable source of energy, ensuing from the breakdown of organic matter. Biogas is not to be confused with ‘natural’ gas, which is a non-renewable source of power.
2. Biogas and biomass: relatedities and differences
Biomass and biogas are each biofuels; they can be burnt to produce energy. However biomass is the stable, natural material. Biomass has been used as an energy source since people first discovered fire and burnt wood, plants and animal dung to create energy.
Today, 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 taking place in nature for millions of years, even before fossil fuels, and continues to occur throughout us in the natural world. At present’s industrial conversion of organic waste into energy in biogas plants is just fast-forwarding nature’s ability to recycle its useful resources.
The primary human use of biogas is assumed up to now back to 3,000BC within the Middle East, when the Assyrians used biogas to heat their baths.
A 17th century chemist, Jan Baptist van Helmont, discovered that flammable gases could come from decaying natural matter. Van Helmont can also be answerable for bringing the word ‘gas’, from the Greek word chaos, into the science vocabulary.
The primary large anaerobic digestion plant dates back to 1859 in a leper colony in Bombay.
An creative Victorian engineer, John Webb from Birmingham, created the Sewage Lamp, which transformed sewage into biogas to light avenue 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 method to treat municipal wastewater, earlier than chemical treatments. Within 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 forget that in Mad Max Past Thunderdome the submit-apocalyptic settlement Bartertown, run by Tina Turner’s terrifying Aunty Entity, is powered by a pig-farm biogas system with biogas used to power the desert-chasing vehicles.
4. As we speak China leads the world in using biogas
China has the largest number of biogas plants, with an estimated 50 million households using biogas. These are mostly in rural areas and small-scale residence and village plants.
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