What is Biogas?

The production of energy from Biogas. The positive side of controversial industries.

Biogas is primarily a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide and occurs naturally when organic matter decomposes in the absence of oxygen.

Biogas is produced from landfills and by anaerobic digestion. Depending on where it is produced, biogas can also be called swamp gas, swamp gas, and landfill gas or digester gas.

Anaerobic digestion is one of the methods by which biogas is produced.

Biogas can be produced using anaerobic digesters. Here, plants can be fed energy crops such as corn silage or biodegradable waste, including sewage sludge and food waste; whereas, landfill gas is produced by the decomposition of organic waste under anaerobic conditions in a landfill.

Gober Gas is the other form of biogas that is generated from cow manure. This type of biogas is produced mainly in households in India and Pakistan.

Biogas has many advantages over other alternative fuels.

One of the main advantages of biogas is that the technology is cheaper and much simpler than that of others biofuels. Methane recovery is spontaneous as the gas is automatically separated from the substrates.

Diluted waste materials can be used as a substrate. In the biogas production process, organic pollutants are removed from the environment and used to generate useful biogas, which actually cleans the environment.

No aseptic conditions are needed for the operation. Another advantage of biogas is that it does not produce unpleasant odors.

Electricity can be generated with biogas 24 hours a day. There is a reduced risk of explosion compared to pure methane and any biodegradable material can be used as a substrate to produce biogas.

As it has many advantages, biogas also has few disadvantages.

One of them is that the value of the product (biogas) is quite low and this makes it an unattractive commercial activity. This process is not very attractive economically (compared to other biofuels) on a large industrial scale.

Biogas contains some gases as impurities, which are corrosive to the metal parts of internal combustion.

Another great disadvantage of biogas is that its yields are lower due to the dilute nature of the substrates. However, biogas can become a great substitute for other conventional energy sources.

It will be necessary to discover and use alternative energy sources with reduced environmental effects to generate the energy requirements that our lifestyle demands today.

Animal farms and methane in the environment.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is about 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Methane is produced both naturally and through man-made processes. Most commonly associated with farting cows (they're actually burping cows), methane is also produced by industrial processes, termites, from landfills, rice farming, and the use of fossil fuels.

But, for example, how much methane does livestock produce in Australia?

The current National Inventory of Greenhouse Gases estimates that 15% of the national inventory comes from agriculture, of which 66% comes from the digestion of livestock (mainly cattle and sheep).

These calculations are based on models and averages. The model for the national inventory can be updated as the investigation reveals more accurate data for the models. Recent research by CSIRO's Ed Charmley has found that northern Australian cattle produce 30% less methane than previously thought.

CSIRO's research is currently being reviewed for use in the next inventory and could mean that the impact of the Australian livestock industry is revised to be less than previously thought.

These numbers are still averaged across the entire northern herd and it is extremely unlikely that there will ever be a system to measure methane produced from livestock locally due to the complexities and costs associated with measuring methane.

How is methane from cows measured?

The measurement of methane gas from livestock is a relatively new science and as such reliable methods and data are not yet available. Science is continually evolving, and as more research is completed, data becomes more and more reliable. Methane measurement in controlled environments, such as closed chambers in a laboratory, is now at a stage where the data is quite reliable. However, measuring cattle and sheep in a laboratory is not an accurate measure, as the animals do not behave as they do in a field and, as such, the data is not an accurate reflection of methane production from the animals. animals.

To measure the amount of methane produced by grazing animals, a variety of technologies have been tested and used in recent years.

To date, the most effective method for measuring methane produced by livestock in the field is an open path Fourier transformer infrared laser or FTIR.

The FTIR operates by sending an infrared beam across a meadow, adjacent and downwind from grazing animals.

The beam is reflected by a mirror back to the instrument. To obtain an accurate reading, the animals are connected to a small gas canister that releases a tracer gas at a known rate, and the instrument measures the amount of both the tracer gas and methane from the animals simultaneously in the air between the instrument and the mirror to determine the amount of methane released by the animals.

The FTIR is the measurement instrument that CSIRO used for the study that found that the northern herd produces 30% less methane than previously thought and is also being used at three other test sites across the country that are being tested. are being used to quantify methane production and also demonstrate some of the research that Australian agricultural scientists are conducting to find ways to reduce methane production from cattle and sheep.

In recent years the issue of methane, its relationship to global warmingHe and its use on farms has been the subject of debate among scholars, animal defense groups who see the consumption and breeding of livestock as a cause of environmental problems and scientists who seek to take advantage of any residue of human productive activities to produce energy .

In the end, everyone agrees that proliferation of farms it has increased pollution, reduced forests and jungles, wildfires and greenhouse gases. And although this industry is not going to disappear overnight, you can help reduce the emission of these gases by reducing the consumption of meat and diversifying your daily diet, your health will benefit as well.

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