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Biogas is a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter resembling food scraps and animal waste. It may be used in quite a lot of ways including 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 natural matter, reminiscent of 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 needs to be enclosed in an setting the place there isn't any oxygen.
It might probably happen naturally or as part of an industrial process to intentionally 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 material, food waste or sewage.
Which gases does biogas contain?
Biogas consists mainly of methane and carbon dioxide. It will probably additionally include small quantities of hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and a few moisture. The relative quantities of those fluctuate depending on the type of waste involved within the production of the ensuing biogas.
What can biogas be used for?
To fuel vehicles – if biogas is compressed it can be used 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 utilized in the same way to methane; this can embody for cooking and heating.
Biogas: 6 fascinating details
1. Biogas is a gas of many names
Biogas is most commonly also known as biomethane. It’s also typically called marsh gas, sewer gas, compost gas and swamp gas within the US.
Biogas is a naturally occurring and renewable source of energy, ensuing from the breakdown of natural matter. Biogas is to not be confused with ‘natural’ gas, which is a non-renewable source of power.
2. Biogas and biomass: similarities and differences
Biomass and biogas are both biofuels; they can be burnt to produce energy. However biomass is the strong, organic material. Biomass has been used as an energy source since people first discovered fire and burnt wood, plants and animal dung to create energy.
At this time, many energy stations run by burning a biomass of compressed wood pellets – a by-product of timber and furniture-making. By changing 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 organic matter has been occurring in nature for millions of years, even earlier than fossil fuels, and continues to occur throughout us within the natural world. Today’s industrial conversion of natural waste into energy in biogas plants is simply fast-forwarding nature’s ability to recycle its useful resources.
The primary human use of biogas is thought so 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 could come from decaying organic matter. Van Helmont is also responsible for bringing the word ‘gas’, from the Greek word chaos, into the science vocabulary.
The primary 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 converted sewage into biogas to light road 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 an affordable, natural various to chemical substances and the reduction of dysentery bacteria.
And let’s not neglect 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 energy the desert-chasing vehicles.
4. At this time China leads the world in the use of biogas
China has the biggest number of biogas plants, with an estimated 50 million households using biogas. These are largely in rural areas and small-scale house and village plants.
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