The different fields of the process industry all face the same global challenge: how to favor and promote the most ecological ways to operate yet keep the business profitable.
Today, there are several clean energy sources to choose from. One of them is a rising star: biogas, also known as biomethane. The production of biogas is growing steadily worldwide due to its many benefits.
In this article, we will concentrate on the many benefits and purposes of biogas, how it is produced and how Altum’s technology can be harnessed to make the production of biogas smoother.
The many benefits of biogas
Biogas is produced by the breakdown of organic matter, such as agricultural waste, food waste, animal dung, manure, and sewage. It is a clean and renewable energy source, like solar, wind and hydropower.
Similar to other energy sources, both advantages and disadvantages exist in generating and utilizing biogas. Nevertheless, it is evident that the advantages considerably outweigh the disadvantages. These benefits can be broadly categorized into ecological and economic gains.
Among the most popular benefits of biogas, we can include the following advantages:
- Biogas production is carbon-neutral and doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
- It helps divert food waste from landfills, positively impacting the environment and economics.
- It reduces soil and water contamination from animal manure and human faeces.
- It reduces the amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere.
- It uses simple and low-cost technology, which makes it cost-effective, whereas natural gas is quite expensive.
- Electricity from biogas contributes to stability because the energy can be generated continuously, regardless of the weather conditions and time of day.
At the moment, biogas is an underused energy source. Despite this, it still has enormous potential if we manage to make greater use of it. The reasons why the degree of implementation is still low on a national level may be the lack of incentives and awareness of the potential of this technology and its benefits, in addition to the lack of integrated and coordinated policies in areas such as the fight against climate change, energy self-sufficiency, waste management and rural development. Biogas could help slow climate change, improve global health, reduce agricultural losses, increase energy access, and improve people’s lives and businesses.
How is biogas produced?
Today’s industrial conversion of organic waste into energy in biogas plants is simply fast-forwarding nature’s ability to recycle its valuable resources. A biogas plant is a facility that provides oxygen-free conditions where anaerobic digestion can occur. Simply put, it’s an artificial system where you can turn waste into sustainable energy and fertilizers with positive environmental effects.
Several types of biogas systems and plants have been designed to make efficient use of biogas. While each model differs depending on input, output, size, and type, the biological process that converts organic waste into biogas is uniform.
Each type of biomass has a different fermentation process, so the overall length of the biogas production process varies depending on the raw materials used. The most popular biomass choices are crop residues, municipal and industrial sewage, agricultural material, livestock manures, seaweed, food processing, and paper waste. However, the list of raw materials used is significantly longer.
Biogas digesters receive organic matter, which decomposes in a digestion chamber. The digestion chamber is fully submerged in water, making it an oxygen-free environment. The anaerobic environment allows microorganisms to break down the organic material and convert it into biogas.
After this, the biogas is ready for use by enterprises and consumers, for example, in a liquefied form or following injection into the gas pipeline network. It can then be used for fuel for vehicles, energy generation, greenhouse and industrial heating, industrial processes, microgrids, and remote power.
Altum’s contribution to help boost biogas production
Altum’s unique ZPD technology for fouling prevention provides a solution for industrial operators that produce biogas and seek ways to make the process as easy and efficient as possible. As an industry-specific example, we have achieved significant success in eliminating struvite buildup from pipes and pumps within a biogas manufacturing process, which transforms manure into biogas through a series of procedures. Struvite is formed under the anaerobic conditions employed in this process, resulting in scaling issues in pipes and pumps, which required almost daily cleaning. Altum’s innovative solution effectively prevented this scaling, reducing maintenance requirements substantially and enhancing overall process efficiency.
If you want to know more about how we can help you boost your biogas production to the fullest possible efficiency, don’t hesitate to contact us!