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What is biogas?
Biogas is a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of natural matter similar to meals scraps and animal waste. It may be used in a variety 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-pleasant, renewable energy source.
It’s produced when natural matter, similar 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 needs to be enclosed in an surroundings where there is no oxygen.
It could actually occur naturally or as part of an industrial process to intentionally create biogas as a fuel.
What sort 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 materials, meals waste or sewage.
Which gases does biogas comprise?
Biogas consists primarily of methane and carbon dioxide. It might probably additionally embody small quantities of hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and a few moisture. The relative quantities of those fluctuate relying 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 an analogous way to methane; this can include for cooking and heating.
Biogas: 6 fascinating facts
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, 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: comparableities and differences
Biomass and biogas are each biofuels; they are often burnt to produce energy. However biomass is the solid, natural material. Biomass has been used as an energy source since humans first discovered fire and burnt wood, plants and animal dung to create energy.
Right this moment, many power 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 before fossil fuels, and continues to occur throughout us in the natural world. Right now’s industrial conversion of organic 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 three,000BC in 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 organic matter. Van Helmont can be accountable 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 ingenious 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 way to treat municipal wastewater, before chemical treatments. Within the growing world the anaerobic process is still recognised as a cheap, natural alternative to chemical substances and the reduction of dysentery bacteria.
And let’s not forget that in Mad Max Past 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 power the desert-chasing vehicles.
4. At this time China leads the world in the use of biogas
China has the most important number of biogas plants, with an estimated 50 million households using biogas. These are mostly in rural areas and small-scale dwelling and village plants.
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