A biogas generator is a simple device for using organic waste such as kitchen scraps, grass cuttings, or livestock manure to generate methane by a process similar to fermentation. One can then use the methane to generate electricity, heat, or fuel. Once a biogas generator is installed, the majority of the work involved in running it is to feed it fresh organic material on a regular basis. The initial investment cost for a biogas generator is considerably lower than a solar panel installation or a windmill. This makes it a great choice for people just beginning to work on generating green energy for themselves, as well as large power plants.
Biogas Generator Overview
The main component of a biogas generator is the digestion tank. Here, the anaerobic bacteria (which doesn’t like oxygen) eats the organic material and exhales methane, along with some CO2, hydrogen sulfide, and water vapor. Attached to this is a feed system for adding fresh organics, a waste system to allow removal of old organics, and a gas outlet for harvesting the gas. One can attach it to a tank for collecting the gas. From that, we can use the gas to generate electricity or steam, or use it for heating, or even for transportation. A biomass generator can be of almost any size, depending mostly on the available supply of convertible organics.
This is one of the beauties of the biogas generator technology. Biogas generators can be remarkably individualized, made from any number of materials. All that is really essential is that all of the components be airtight to keep oxygen away from the anaerobic bacteria and prevent the loss of the biogas to the air. Biogas generators can be used to provide electricity to a large grid or used by a single urban residence to help reduce their electric bill. Biogas generation is flexible enough to suit any anticipated need.
PROs and CONs of Biogas Generators
- Operates on materials that would otherwise be waste.
- Versatile in scale.
- Very little ongoing effort to operate.
- Low initial investment.
- Proven, reliable technology.
- Green energy.
- Reduces waste disposal costs.
- Produces energy in a very versatile, portable form.
- May be eligible for green tax incentives.
- Organic material may be hard to find for some urban dwellers.
- It does require space for the installation.
- It requires regular feeding with fresh organic material.
- Whether the installation is small or industrial-sized, the existing waste disposal method used on organic waste will need to be altered to channel organic materials into the biogas generator.
Biogas generation is a simple, well-understood method of energy generation that is easy enough for anyone to use and understand. It could easily become a long-lasting, inexpensive part of anyone’s energy supply. There is no danger of our planet running out of organic waste material. Consequently, putting it to use to help meet our ever-growing demand for energy is certainly an option well worth considering.
The only other output that biogas generation produces is also a valuable resource: compost. We can easily divert some of our waste from mere disposal to use it for generating energy, replacing fossil fuel and keeping our planet that much cleaner in the process. We can either pay the costs of disposal or reap the rewards of using the organics that we do not currently use to our benefit.
Things to Think about Before Buying a Biogas Generator
A major factor to consider is to evaluate your sources of organic material to feed the biogas generator. An urban dweller with a bungalow will have kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, and perhaps manure from the family dog. A small farm will have more manure and crop waste, for quite a bit more organic material to convert. A commercial operation close to a feed lot or food processing plant will have even more.
A biogas generator requires some level of ongoing effort to feed it fresh organic material and use the output. However, it does need an ongoing commitment. This doesn’t need to be daunting, but it will need to be considered and planned for when considering a biogas generator.
Another thing to consider is how you will use the output of your biogas generator. Generating electricity or steam is basic enough, but you’ll need an appropriate generator.
A Word of Ending
Whether you’re committed to green energy or not, a biogas generator will earn praise from those people who are fans, and you’ll need to decide how much to value that. With widespread concern about our environmental impact, biogas generators are an easy, affordable route to achieve energy independence, using renewable resources that we aren’t using otherwise.
Biogas generators are simple, reliable technology that’s ideal for our world today – totally green, sustainable, and easy to create and maintain. They can be built on whichever scale suits the situation and maintaining them is not labor-intensive. For an individual, they are an investment in green energy, and for a larger installation, they’re an even wiser investment.
Unfortunately, few people are aware of the option. Do please consider one for yourself, and spread the word so that others know that the option is available. If you’ve worked with one, please leave us a comment about it.