Environmentally unfriendly fuels like coal and wood are still the primary source of power for cooking and heating for around 3 billion people around the world. These practices contribute to irreversible damage done to our environment and our own well-being.
To illustrate, 15 billion trees are cut down and 4 million lives are lost to household cooking fumes each year, while the greenhouse gasses emissions are increasing massively. Luckily, this problem can be solved with the use of biogas generator.
What is biogas?
Biogas is a biologically generated gas. Its production is the result of natural processes – the breakdown of organic materials, including food waste, manure, agricultural waste, and more, in an anaerobic digestive process. It is essentially the decomposition of organic matter by bacteria in the absence of oxygen.
This produces a smokeless, flammable gas that comprises mostly methane, carbon dioxide, small quantities of hydrogen moisture, as well as other gases in trace amounts. During biogas production, these released gases react with each other in a chain of processes. The result is biogas and a separated liquid and solid run-off known as ‘digestate’ – all of which can be used for various sustainable living purposes.
This gas creates a blue flame when burned, just like LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or natural gas. It is also 20% lighter than air. All these features make biogas an important renewable energy source, that is key to the sustainable living community.
What is biogas produced from?
You can get biogas from virtually anything that’s organic. The exact specifications, amount, and processing time of the material may differ depending on whether you need it for home or industrial purposes.
The most popular biogas sources are:
- Food waste
- Animal waste
- Organic human waste
- Agricultural waste (cleaned of all pollutants and chemicals)
- Landfill gas
You can use virtually anything (organic) that you have lying around. If you have leftover food scraps, garden cuttings, or cat feces you need to get rid of – all of it is fair game and nothing goes to waste (no pun intended).
What is biogas useful for?
Biogas can power your home, cook your food, and even run your car if further refined through another chemical process. Using biogas in households is much safer than LPG or propane gas for several reasons:
- Biogas is stored at low pressure, unlike its unsafe alternatives in LPG cylinders and propane tanks.
- Since the gas isn’t compressed, the appliance stores a relatively small quantity compared to gas in cylinders. This amount is too little to pose any serious threat if ignited.
- Thanks to methane being lighter than air and making up 60% of biogas, it will diffuse immediately into the atmosphere. This will render it completely harmless in the event it escapes the appliance for any reason.
- Methane requires a concentration of 50% to become flammable. The moment it hits the air, it becomes less concentrated and thus completely non-flammable.
- Biogas is a renewable energy resource with a continuous production cycle repeated whenever necessary.
Considering all the great things biogas can do for us and our environment, there’s absolutely no excuse to not start generating it as soon as possible!