Biogas Applications

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» The Future is Biogas

Biogas, like natural gas, is a gas mixture of gases consisting chiefly of methane. It is produced by microorganisms as they decompose organic waste. Biogas is also generated in sewage plants and at landfill sites. The most common method of using biogas for energy production is through converting it into heat and electricity in combined heat and power (CHP) plants. During the biogas production process, roughly an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is generated as is absorbed by the energy crops during their growth cycle, or as would be released naturally in the rotting of waste. This makes power and heat from biogas plants particularly climate-friendly.

  • Heat and power from one energy source

    Biogas production also has an indirect impact on climate protection. This is because the controlled fermentation of liquid manure and compostable waste prevents the release of harmful gases such as methane, which has a far more influence on the greenhouse effect than CO2.

  • Micro gas grids: from biogas plant to combined heat and power plant

    • If purchasers of heat are located at too great a distance from the biogas plant, transporting this heat is extremely complex and costly. In these cases, the CHP plant can be constructed where the heat is needed. Here, the biogas is simply transported via dedicated pipes to satellite CHP plants in the town, or directly to heat consumers, and then converted into heat and power on site. The waste heat can then be cheaply distributed where it is required.

  • Biomethane in the natural gas grid

    • After processing, biogas can also be injected directly into the existing natural gas grid. In this scenario, it exploits the infrastructure available and finds application as a natural gas equivalent (known as biomethane).

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  • Biogas as a fuel

    • Biogas can also be used as a replacement for natural gas in vehicle fuel.

  • Energy that can be stored and used at the drop of a hat

    Biogas can be stored without difficulty, meaning that it can be used at any time in any location irrespective of where it is produced. Hybrid power plants, for example, are able to take advantage of these qualities. They combine different renewable energy sources to complement one another, such that the amount of energy required is always at hand. Owing to its aptitude for storage, biogas is particularly valuable here, as it is able to compensate for fluctuations in other renewable sources such as wind and solar energy.