What is biogas?

Biogas consists mainly of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane is a valuable form of gas, as it is an efficient energy carrier with a wide range of uses. The amount of CO2 that is produced corresponds to the amount of CO2 captured when the biomass was created.

This means that biogas is a CO2 neutral and renewable source of energy.

How is biogas produced - and from what?

Biogas is produced using organic material, which is broken down with the help of bacteria in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. The anaerobic digestion process is a natural process that often occurs in nature. In a biogas plant, this process takes place in an anaerobic digester and is accelerated by creating the best possible conditions for micro-organisms and bacteria to multiply, which leads to a highly efficient breakdown of materials.

Almost all forms of organic material can be used to produce biogas. However, waste water, manure, energy crops and organic industrial waste are the most common feedstocks.

Benefits of biogas

There are benefits of biogas, including:

• The production of valuable green energy (electricity, heating, cooling)
• Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
• Reduction in nutrient loss and washout from the fields (manure processing plants) 
• Recirculation of nitrogen, which reduces the need to use fossil fuels for the extraction of nitrogen from the air
• Recirculation of phosphorous, which helps reducing the pressure on the world's limited phosphorous resources
• Fewer pathogens
• Efficient use of organic by-products
• Reduction of odour emissions (manure processing plants)
• Efficient energy conversion of wet biomasses

 Biogas plant concept

Biogas plant diagram

 

Learn more about biogas plants


 

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