What and why of biogas

Clean Energy from Waste:Biogas is a clean fuel with good calorific value. It can be used as a replacement for LPG or natural gas and can generate electricity. It is independent of sun, wind or water. Organic wastes are a great feedstock for biogas production and this enables better waste management and a cleaner environment.



Why Biogas?


Biogas is a mixture of about 55% methane and 45% CO2 and other trace contaminant gases. The gas is created from anaerobically decaying organic matter. It is produced by means of a process known as anaerobic digestion, whereby organic matter is broken down by microbiological activity and, as the name suggests, takes place in the absence of air.

28 cubic metres of biogas is equivalent to one domestic LPG cylinder. Organic waste of 200 kgs can contribute one LPG cylinder daily. 1 cubic metre of gas can generate 1.5 units of electricity.

  • Biogas makes our energy production safer. It has no negative implications on the environment and is one of the cleanest fuels available.
  • It is good for the climate and saves CO2.
  • Organic residues can be sensibly utilised and do not need to be simply disposed of.
  • Biogas manure can replace mineral fertiliser.
  • Biogas plants can be utilised by both urban and rural population, industry as well as households.


How is it produced?

Biogas is a product of decomposing organic matter, such as sewage, animal byproducts, and agricultural, industrial, and municipal solid waste. To fuel vehicles, biogas must be upgraded to a purity standard and either compressed for onsite dispensing or injected into the gas grid for distribution to dispersed fuelling locations.




Biogas in India

Biogas in India has been traditionally based on dairy manure as feedstock and these “gobar” gas plants have been in operation for a long period of time, especially in rural India. In the last 2-3 decades, research organisations with a focus on rural energy security have enhanced the design of the systems resulting in newer efficient low cost designs such as the Deenabandhu model.

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is a key source of cooking fuel in urban India and its prices have been increasing along with the global fuel prices. Also the heavy subsidies provided by the successive governments in promoting LPG as a domestic cooking fuel has become a financial burden renewing the focus on biogas as a cooking fuel alternative in urban establishments. This has led to the development of prefabricated digesters for modular deployments as compared to RCC and cement structures which take a longer duration to construct. Renewed focus on process technology like the Biourja process model has enhanced the stature of biogas in India as a potential alternative to LPG as primary cooking fuel.





Advantages of investing in Biogas

Increased Energy Security—Biogas offsets non-renewable resources, such as coal, oil, and fossil fuel-derived natural gas. Other renewable projects like solar, wind and water depend a lot on the geography of the project location. Biogas production is location independent and the feasibility is dependent only on the feedstock, which is organic waste. Hence biogas projects are feasible irrespective of the terrain and geography.

Lower emissions—Capturing biogas reduces emissions by preventing methane release into the atmosphere. Methane is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Anaerobic digestion leads to usage of this methane as fuel thereby reducing the emissions.

Better economics—Biogas as a replacement for LPG or diesel makes economic feasibility for both cooking and power generation.

Cleaner environment—Producing biogas through anaerobic digestion reduces landfill waste and odors and produces nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer.