Biogas is obtained through the anaerobic decomposition (putrefaction) of organic matter. It contains methane (CH4) in varying proportions, ranging from 35% to 70%, a proportion which largely depends on production methods and the materials involved in the process. This methane concentration is what enables biogas to be used as fuel. The release of methane into the atmosphere contributes to an increase in the greenhouse effect and its capacity to pollute is 21 times greater than that of CO2.
The use of biogas as a fuel or raw material for the production of other goods is the best option, not only because it avoids emissions of methane gas to the atmosphere but also because it reduces emissions of other greenhouse gases that would occur as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels. Biogas is an inexhaustible source of clean, renewable energy, the use of which can be automatically managed. It is one of the most accessible enewable energies, due to the ease with which it can be obtained. Moreover, biogas causes less air pollution and constitutes a viable alternative to the depletion of fossil fuels, such as natural gas and oil, the price of which has been increasing in recent years.
With a net calorific value (NCV) of between approximately 4,000 and 6,000 Kcal/m3, biogas can be used for the production and sale of electricity and heat. It can also be used as a biofuel for vehicles, fed into the natural gas network or used as a raw material for the production of H2 and methanol. However, the most effective use of biogas lies in cogeneration, through which electricity and heat energy is obtained at the same time.
Joaquín Reina Hernández
Director of Energy & Waste Tech