Biogas production and use is one of many ways to tackle the ongoing climate crisis. Biogas can be produced in small farm-scale plants for own personal electricity use up to the scale of large plants who can produce up to 150GWh of energy. (Swedish Gas Association, 2018)
Biogas is a gas mixture that consists of mainly methane and carbon oxide with smaller proportions of hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, ammonia and oxygen. It is most commonly produced from anaerobic digestion, which allows organic compounds to convert to biogas through microorganisms breaking down the compound with help of oxygen. The biogas can then be used for heat production or combusted in an engine to produce electricity. (Chang, 2018)
There are many biomass resources who can be used when producing biogas, so I decided to investigate and see which biomass resource who was considered to have the biggest potential for producing biogas.
Manure, or waste from animals is a second generation (2G) biofuel who is representing the largest resource for biogas production (Korbag, et al, 2020). Manure is also identified to be the best source for production of biogas according to a report from Lund University in 2016, which can be seen in Table 1 below (Swedish Gas Association, 2018).
Biogas production from manure is a great way to transform waste material into something valuable and usable. It is acknowledged to be one of the more energy efficient and environmentally favourable technology for bioenergy generation. After the manure has been extracted of biogas the residues can be used as fertilizer. (Korbag, et al)
But are there any disadvantages with manure as a resource for biogas production?
Manure has high water content, this leads to challenges regarding logistics and transportation which is a big limiting factor for many biofuels competing with fossil fuels in an economic perspective (Chang, 2018). Even more challenging when studies have shown that the storage of manure is decreasing the methane potential when being stored, with up to 37% after 120 days in storage (Atelge, et al, 2018). To eliminate these problems efforts are being made to use the same infrastructure as natural gas uses to connect users through this gas network and buy biogas virtually in the same way we buy renewable electricity, and eventually phase out the natural gas to it being only biogas in the infrastructure. (Sweden Gas Association, 2018).
Overall, I think biogas production is a versatile and promising way forward to reduce and replace the use of fossil fuels in power and heat production, and fuel for vehicles. Which will reduce our negative impact on the climate with greenhouse gas emissions and substitute conventional sources for energy.
To conclude this all, I personally think we can expect biogas production and use to be a part in the search and development for renewable and sustainable energy in the future.
Swedish Gas Association. (2018). NATIONAL BIOGAS STRATEGY 2.0. Available from: https://www.energigas.se/library/2303/national-biogas-strategy-2_0.pdf
Cheng, J. (2018). Biomass to renewable energy processes (second edition). CRC Press.
Issa Korbag., Salma Mohamed Saleh Omer., Hanan Boghazala., & Mousay Ahmeedah Aboubakr Abusasiyah. (2020). Recent Advances of Biogas Production and Future Perspective. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.93231
M. R. Atelge., David Krisa., Gopalakrishnan Kumar., Cigdem Eskicioglu., Dinh Duc Nguyen., Soon Woong Chang., A. E. Atabani., Alaa H. Al-Muhtaseb., & S. Unalan. (2018). Biogas Production from Organic Waste: Recent Progress and Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-018-00546-0
2 thoughts on “which biomass resource has the most potential?”
Hi! I found your research on which Biomass resource is considered to have the biggest potential for biogas production interesting, because with the advance of research, it will make it possible to compare it with new biomass resources to be studied. Thank you for your contribution!
Fastudo Jorge Mabecua
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An interesting blog post that gives a reflection of the pros and cons with biogas from various substrates. Interesting that manure is the substrate with the highest biomethane potential. The question is if there is enough manure to produce the required volumes of gas? There might be larger waste streams of suitable substrates out there. Any thoughts about organic waste from households, restaurants and industry? How do you see the relationship between methane production and climate change? Isn’t methane a very potent climate gas? is this something we have to consider when switching from fossil fuels to biogas?