What is biogas?

Biogas is a renewable fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter such as food scraps and animal waste. It can be used in a variety of ways including as vehicle fuel and for heating and electricity generation. Read on to learn more.

What is biogas? How is biogas produced?

Biogas is an environmentally-friendly, renewable energy source.

It’s produced when organic matter, such as food or animal waste, is broken down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen, in a process called anaerobic digestion. For this to take place, the waste material needs to be enclosed in an environment where there is no oxygen.

It can occur naturally or as part of an industrial process to intentionally create biogas as a fuel.

What sort of waste can be used to produce biogas?

A wide variety of waste material breaks down into biogas, including animal manure, municipal rubbish/ waste, plant material, food waste or sewage.

Which gases does biogas contain?

Biogas consists mainly of methane and carbon dioxide. It can also include small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, siloxanes and some moisture. The relative quantities of these vary depending on the type of waste involved in the production of the resulting biogas.

What can biogas be used for?

  • To fuel vehicles – if biogas is compressed it can be used as a vehicle fuel.
  • As a replacement for natural gas – if biogas is cleaned up and upgraded to natural gas standards, it’s then known as biomethane and can be used in a similar way to methane; this can include for cooking and heating.