Biofuels Revolution – Biogas

The combustion of biogas, produced by fermenting biomass, to generate electricity in co-generative heat/power stations in recent years has turned into an independent sector within the fast-growing bioenergy industry.

Applied Technologies

Biogas can be produced from various sources: organic waste from refuse tips (landfill gas), communal waste water (sewage gas), industrial/commercial organic waste as well as from agricultural waste and specific energy crops.

Biogas is produced during the fermentation of organic substances in an air/oxygen free environment. This process uses various anaerobic bacteria, the composition of which depends on their organic source materials and specific process conditions (temperature and pH level).

Agricultural biogas plants use liquid and solid manure as base materials. Renewable sources such as corn, cereal crops and other energy plants such as sunflowers, Sudan grass, radish, Sorghum bicolor etc., are being used more and more often to increase gas yields.

Commercial plants process waste water (from purification plants) as well as waste from food production, waste food, grease traps and slaughterhouse waste. The most useful component of biogas is methane, but the gas also includes carbon dioxide as well as minimal amounts of hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and hydrogen.

Aside from the biogas itself, a mix of water, minerals and organic substances which are not broken down is produced as a by-product. This by-product is valued as a high grade fertiliser by the agriculture industry.

Because the productivity of biogas plants depends on microbiological processes during fermentation, both biotechnology and process-specific know-how are required to ensure the procedure returns the best results. AmericanAquabiotech has the most efficient technology in the development and shaping of biogas systems and plants.

Currently, biogas can be used in co-generation heat and power plants with very high levels of efficiency. The electricity which is produced can be fed into public grids or used in self-sufficient industrial and commercial applications as well as by remote off-grid settlements.

The co-generation heat that is created can be used by downstream units to create more electricity or used directly for heating, drying or to operate refrigerators. If the location of the biogas plant does not possess a heat sink, the biogas can be fed directly into existing gas networks. However, you should have specialized technical advises to do that. Linking production with utilization presents new fundamental options for efficient electricity production in co-generative generation as well as for the use of biogas as a bio-fuel.

American Aquabiotech experts are world leaders in the area of biogas technology. Their many years of experience concerning plant operations, the biology of biogas processes and associated laboratory services ensure successful plant operations. We offer a full range of services that covers the entire value chain and supports projects throughout all phases, from planning and funding right through to operations and maintenance. A full range of products also exist to cover co-generative heat/power plants, storage and tank systems and biogas analysis.

Market Development

Biogas production in the USA, EU and in many parts of the World continued to rise over the last few years. For example, in Germany in 2007, 22.4 billion kWh of biogas were produced, 49 % of which was produced from landfill and sewage gas and 51 % from commercial and agricultural biogas plants. By the end of 2007, over 3,700 agricultural biogas plants were in operation, producing a total capacity of 1,270 MW of electricity.

Currently, biogas plants constructed by farmers themselves and in which they ferment waste from harvests and industrial fertilizer, still dominate the biogas production industry, even in USA and Europe. As the trend for ever larger and more powerful biogas plants continues, interest in biogas projects is growing amongst large national energy producers and suppliers. At any rate, positive structural developments in rural areas and the creation of workplaces are associated with the construction and operation of biogas plants.

Member of American Aquabiotech, Biofuels Revolution, Algae for Biofuels and MyBeloJardim Group.