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Biogas is a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter such as meals 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, similar to meals 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 must be enclosed in an atmosphere the place there isn't any oxygen.
It can happen naturally or as part of an industrial process to intentionally create biogas as a fuel.
What kind of waste can be used to produce biogas?
A wide number of waste materials breaks down into biogas, together with animal manure, municipal garbage/ waste, plant material, food waste or sewage.
Which gases does biogas contain?
Biogas consists primarily of methane and carbon dioxide. It could actually additionally include small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and some moisture. The relative quantities of these vary depending on the type of waste involved in 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 utilized in an analogous 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 also known as biomethane. It’s also typically called marsh gas, sewer gas, compost gas and swamp gas in the US.
Biogas is a naturally occurring and renewable source of energy, resulting from the breakdown of organic matter. Biogas is to not be confused with ‘natural’ gas, which is a non-renewable source of power.
2. Biogas and biomass: similarities and variations
Biomass and biogas are each biofuels; they can be burnt to produce energy. But 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.
At the moment, 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 is just not a new discovery
The anaerobic process of decomposition (or fermentation) of organic matter has been occurring in nature for millions of years, even before fossil fuels, and continues to occur all around us within the natural world. At the moment’s industrial conversion of organic waste into energy in biogas plants is solely fast-forwarding nature’s ability to recycle its helpful resources.
The primary human use of biogas is thought to this point back to three,000BC in the Middle 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 also be chargeable for bringing the word ‘gas’, from the Greek word chaos, into the science vocabulary.
The first massive 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 converted 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 means to deal with municipal wastewater, earlier than chemical treatments. Within the developing world the anaerobic process is still recognised as a reasonable, natural various to chemical substances and the reduction of dysentery bacteria.
And let’s not overlook 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. In the present day 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 largely in rural areas and small-scale dwelling and village plants.
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