Nov 14, 2022, 16:45 IST

Biogas is a renewable energy source that decomposes organic matter by certain bacteria under anaerobic conditions. It is a mixture of methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. It can be produced by agricultural waste, food waste, animal droppings, manure, and sewage. The biogas production process is also known as anaerobic digestion.

Biogas naturally recycles waste products and turns them into useful energy, preventing any pollution from landfill waste and reducing the effect of toxic chemicals released from sewage treatment plants.

Biogas converts harmful methane produced during decomposition into less toxic carbon dioxide gas. Organic material decomposes only in a moist environment. The organic matter or waste dissolves in the water to form a sludge rich in nutrients and is used as fertilizer.

Biogas Plant

Biogas production takes place in anaerobic fermenters known as Biogas Stations. These have five components:

  • Inlet for feeding manure
  • Fermentation chamber, where the action of microorganisms produces biogas,
  • Gas tank for storing produced gas,
  • An outlet for used slurry,
  • Outlet pipe for the discharge of produced gas.

The organics are fed to entirely submerged digesters in water to provide an anaerobic environment. These fermenters are therefore called anaerobic fermenters. The microorganisms break down organic matter and convert it into biogas. The biogas produced in this way is fed to the respective places through the outlet pipe.

Breakdown of Organic Matter

  1. The first stage involves the breakdown of a organic polymers such as carbohydrates, making them available to another type of acidogenic bacteria.
  2. Acidogenic bacteria convert sugar and amino acids into carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen, and organic acids.
  3. Organic acids are now converted into acetic acid, hydrogen, ammonia, and carbon dioxide.
  4. These are eventually transformed into methane and carbon dioxide by the action of methanogens.

Methane is a flammable gas that can be burned. This gas is supplied to various places and used in cooking and lighting. It is an environmentally friendly gas and reduces multiple environmental problems, such as reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How long can you store biogas?

Ans. The tank would include one or a two large, air-tight vessels with the sufficient storage capacity for around one to two days of biogas production.

Q2. What are the factors affecting biogas production?

Ans. Temperature is the essential factor that affects biogas production. At higher temperature, maximum biogas is produced. Factors like the C/N ratio, pH value, compression ratio, and total solid concentration affect biogas production.

Q3. What problem does biogas solve?

Ans. Biogas can replace charcoal and wood, reducing black carbon emissions and forest degradation. Greenhouse gas emissions from cooking with non-renewable wood fuels amount to about a gigaton of carbon yearly, or about 2 percent of global emissions.

Q4. Can biogas explode?

Ans. There is an explosion hazard if biogas is diluted between 10% and 30% with the air.

Q5. What is the biggest source of biogas?

Ans. Major biogas sources include:

  • Municipal wastewater treatment plants.
  • Industrial waste treatment facilities.
  • Landfills.
  • Agricultural sources such as manure and energy crops.

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