What is Biogas?Biogas is a high-energy gaseous mixture, product of the natural decomposition process of organic material in the absence of oxygen, also known as anaerobic digestion.
This natural process is used technically in biogas plants to generate biogas from biologically degradable feedstocks, such as liquid manure, bio-waste or energy crops (maize, grass, sugar beet etc.). These feedstocks are fermented in hermetically sealed fermentation tanks, so-called digesters, where they are converted into biogas. This requires the work of many different micro-organisms.
Why Biogas?Biogas is known to have many advantages.
- A biogas plant can not only treat different kinds of waste but also convert waste into energy, such as electricity and heat. Other than other sustainable energies, biogas plants work can constantly deliver both.
- Apart from power and heat, biogas can also supply fuel. Biogas consists of 50-60 percent of methane, a combustible gas, with the remainder being largely CO2.
- This also leaves a fermentation product that is ideal as an organic fertilizer and soil improver. It is either liquid or dry or composted and can be very useful in the agricultural, landscaping and horticultural sectors as well as for private gardening. The fermentation product retains the nutrients contained in the source feedstocks, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and the organic carbon. The utilization of fermentation products thus closes the natural nutrient and humus cycle and replaces mineral fertilizer, which must otherwise be produced with a high input of energy or be extracted.
- Last but not least, biogas creates jobs, especially in rural areas. By now, the German biogas sector has achieved an annual turnover of more than seven billion Euro and, in doing so, secures approx. 40,000 jobs in small and medium-sized industrial and agricultural companies.