Biogas is a biofuel derived from the natural process of anaerobic decomposition, which happens in the absence of oxygen. When the organic matter decomposed, a blend of gases is released, primarily methane and carbon dioxide. Food wastes, animal manure, wastewater, and crop residue are some of the organic materials used for biogas.
Biogas contains 40%-60% methane, a biofuel with deep blue flame, which produces energy. Biogas is used as fuel in generating electricity, further process to produce biomethane (use as fuel for cars), and the by-product digestate to be used as fertilizer.
It is gaining momentum today as people are becoming environmentally conscious, add to that the rising problem of wastes disposal.
Despite obvious reasons to invest in biogas, it is worthwhile to assess further how the project works and its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Biogas
1.Renewable Source of Energy
Organic materials are derived from plants, animals, and humans. Raw materials can be reproduced, making biogas a green energy source. It also lessens the damaging impact and improper wastes disposal.
2.Utilization of Waste
Instead of letting the wastes rot in landfills, it is more advantageous to utilize and turn them into biogas. An environmental hazard is reduced due to lesser methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases produced. Wastes are turned into energy to utilize for electricity, heating, cooking, and as fertilizers.
3.Produces a Circular Economy
Animal manure, food wastes, wastewater, and crop residue are wastes produced by humans and animals. These wastes can cause harm if not process correctly. By turning these organic wastes into biogas, the wastes are converted into a more helpful way. The wastes are made into biogas for electricity and heating use, natural gas for cars and cooking, and digestate as fertilizers.
4.A Good Alternative for Electricity and Cooking in Rural Areas and Developing Countries
Some areas have limited access to electricity, hampering their way of living. Biogas can provide them a good alternative. It is economical to set up and possible both for small- and large-scale production.
Disadvantages of Biogas
1.Few Technological Advancements
The biogas industry is not yet advanced. Additional research is needed to develop new technology and make production efficient. Also, governments provide more support on established energy sources such as solar, geothermal, wind, and hydropower.
Like other intermittent energy sources (solar, wind), biogas production is also affected by the weather. Anaerobic digestion happens in an environment with a temperature of 37°C. Heat energy is required in cold climates to produce biogas continually.
3.Foul Odor Emitted from Biogas Power Plant
Biogas plant emits foul odor from the wastes they process. Power plants should be built in a location away from residences and other industrial areas.
Assessing the pros and cons and in-depth evaluation of a biogas project will help you understand how the biogas power plants work. Given the resources available in your area, a biogas project is a good option you can consider.