How long does it take to produce biogas?
Electricity is a big part of everyday life for many of us, from using the fridge to store your groceries to running an entire business via computers to charging your phone at the end of the day. From home life to your workplace and everything in between, the use of energy has become a necessity for a lot of the Australian population… which brings us to how electricity is produced.
With increased electricity usage comes an increased need for the use of renewable sources as energy to become more environmentally friendly – and biogas is one of those sources. But do you know what it is, and how long it takes to produce? No worries if you don’t! We have put together some information about biogas to help you out but, if you would like to know more, give Inoplex a call on 0448 307 282 and we would be happy to discuss further.
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What is biogas?
Biogas is a biofuel, which is a fuel that has been produced from living matter and is a renewable energy source. A biofuel is carbon neutral, due to the fact that the CO2 that is created when burning it has been already removed from the environment over the organism’s life. Biogas is made up of a mixture of different gases, including methane (50-75%), carbon dioxide (25-45%), water (2-8%) and hydrogen sulphide, and is naturally created. It is generally used in the same way as natural gas, and up until quite recently, it was mostly used as a fuel for lighting and cooking but not for generating electricity. This trend is changing however with an increased focus on green energy, meaning a greater interest in biogas and how it can help in power generation. As a reference point, biogas has about 50% of the energy content of diesel, so it still packs a punch!
Biogas is a beneficial type of renewable energy that is commonly piped, stored and then combusted to produce heat (for steam) and/or electricity (this is what Inoplex helps to do!).
How is biogas produced?
Biogas is created through the digestion of organic matter, otherwise known as biomass, by microorganisms in an oxygen-free environment. This method is also called anaerobic digestion and can occur naturally anywhere, including the digestive system and effluent ponds, and is artificially created in engineered containers called digesters.
How long does it take to produce biogas?
The length of time it takes to produce biogas really depends on the feedstock (raw material) that is used. Feedstock can be a range of things including:
- Organic matter – for example, organic landfill components
- Food and beverage waste – for example, meat packing waste and dairy factory waste
- Livestock effluents
- Wastewater treatment sludge
Any organic waste has the ability to create biogas! As for the time is takes to produce, approximate time periods range from 5-90 days, more commonly 10-30 days, depending on the makeup of the feedstock and type of anaerobic digester. If the feedstock has a simple composition such as being primarily carbon/nitrogen based then the time will be lower, however if the composition is more complex (such as cellulose and lignin) than it will take longer.
Some common examples of biogas production times are:
- Complete mix, anareobic digester operating at 37 C treating cow manure. Biogas production time is typically 30 days.
- High rate up flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor treating beverage waste. Biogas production time will be 1 to 2 days.
- Covered anaerobic lagoon treating piggery effluent. Biogas production will be 45 days
A complete mix style anaerobic digester operating at 37 C, treating the wastes for 30 days, is a safe conservative estimate of how long it takes to produce biogas.
How much energy is in biogas?
Generally, each cubic meter (m3) of biogas contains the equivalent of 6 kWh of energy. We have prepared a detailed page that explains how much energy is in biogas here.
Your knowledgeable biogas specialists
If you would like to know a little more regarding biogas, its creation and its uses, give Inoplex a call today on 0448 307 282. We are experts when it comes to biogas in a variety of forms, so get in contact today to discuss further.