Biogas energy

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Biogas energy

Biogas energy can be produced from various wastes such as domestic wastes. It is produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Typically biogas is a mixture of various gas. The gases in the mixture are methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide, water vapor, siloxanes.

Fermentation of biodegradable materials such as manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and crops is used to produce this biogas. The anaerobic digestion of the anaerobic bacteria is used to create it. Anaerobic means without oxygen. Thus the anaerobic bacteria works without oxygen.

Biogas energy

The gases methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide can be combusted or oxidized with oxygen. This energy release allows biogas to be used as a fuel, it can be used for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat.

The biogas can be compressed, like the natural gas is used to produce compressed natural gas (CNG), as a fuel in the automobile engines.

Biogas production

A biogas plant is where the biogas is produced. It is often the name given to the anaerobic digester that acts on the farm wastes or energy crops. Biogas is practically produced as landfill gas or digested gas. The inputs to these biogas plants can be energy crops or biodegradable wastes like sewage and food waste. An air-tight tank (for anaerobic purpose) transforms the biomass waste into methane, producing renewable energy that can be used for heating, electricity, and many other operations that use IC engines.

There are two important processes in the anaerobic digestion: mesophillic and thermophillic digestion.

Biogas energy : Landfill gas

Landfill gas is produced by wet organic waste decomposing under anaerobic conditions in a landfill.

The waste is mechanically compressed by the weight of the material that is covered above. This material prevents the oxygen from entering inside. Thus it helps the anaerobic bacteria to act upon. The site must be designed such that the gas released must be captured. If this landfill gas is released in an uncontrolled way then it can be dangerous because it is explosive.

Biogas energy : Ratio of nitrogen to carbon

Solid waste has both nitrogen and carbon in it. We can use cow manure but we can also put in other ingredients to mix with water e.g. food waste.

Nitrogen is essential for anaerobic digestion. Carbon, on the other hand, is an essential part of the gases released during combustion.

Ideally we want a low nitrogen to high carbon ratio. Normally we need 1 nitrogen: 30 carbon.

Some advantages of biogas energy

  • 1 cow can produce enough dung for producing 3kw hours of electricity.

  • It can be a good alternative for the fossil fuels.

  • It saves time collecting fuels.

  • It improves the hygienic conditions.

  • It obviously reduces pollution.

Other types of Gas energy