Today we look into the total amount of useful gas that a bio-digester can produce. We all know that a bio-digester is awesome. It uses natural processes to break down garbage, thereby releasing gas. This gas is then captured, cleaned, and put to good use.
An average household can use this gas for cooking and heating water. Biodigesters are also known as vermifuges or even earthworms in a tank. This is because they can convert the trash into valuable gases. Take a look at these facts about biogas and biodigesters.
Table of Contents
What is a Bio-digester?
A bio-digester is a system that breaks down organic materials through biological processes such as fermentation and decomposition. Bio-digesters can process various food sources, including fat and grease.
Because it is an enclosed system, the biodigester gives off no odor from food waste and, therefore, will eliminate flies and rodents from the facility, increasing hygiene.
Food waste can be reduced by eliminating it on-site, which also reduces hauling costs. The size of a bio-digester determines its capacity; the larger digesters process more food.
They are living systems and do require maintenance. However, this is easy to accomplish. In addition to being affordable and easy to use, biodigesters are eco-friendly; they significantly reduce a facility’s carbon footprint.
Food scraps and other organic materials rotting in landfills release methane and carbon dioxide, two greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Food waste is around 30-40 percent of all materials in landfills and represents the largest category.
By diverting food scraps and other organic materials from these areas, you can capture methane, and greenhouse gas, efficiently.
How Much Gas Can a Bio-digester Produce?
The amount of gas produced by a bio-digester depends on the DM and waste composition, your experimental set-up, and the way you conduct each experiment.
- Assuming an average DM content of 25%, 1 kilogram of KW has a dry matter content (DM) of 0.25 kilograms.
- Because of its relatively high lignin content and low digestibility, KW has a specific biogas yield (SBY) of the app. 400-500 LN kg -1 DM.
Suppose the slurry contains 5% DM. It adds another 0.25 kg to each container (5 kg x 0.05). This biomass source often has a very high SBY of 850 LN per kilogram of digestible matter.
- Adding this information to the basic equation, for instance;
BYTOTAL = BYKW + BYINOCULUM
BYTOTAL = (KW fresh matter x DM content of KW) x SBYKW + (inoculum fresh matter x DM content of inoculum) x SBYINOCULUM
BYTOTAL = 0.25 kg x 400 LN kg-1 of DMKW + 0.25 kg x 850 LN kg-1 of DMINOCULUM = 100 L + 212.5 L = 312.5 L.
- The number of water-soluble sugars and hemicellulose found in less lignified biomass can result in SBY between 800 and 1000 LN kg–1. This remarkably changes the outcome:
BYTOTAL = 0.25 kg x 900 LN kg-1 of DMKW + 0.25 kg x 850 LN kg-1 of DMINOCULUM = 225 L + 212.5 L = 437,5 L.
- Therefore, the conversion of 1 kg of kitchen waste can yield between 100 and 225 liters of biogas.
The biogas yield by the bio-digester would be higher when both waste and inoculum, ranging from 300 to 450 LN.
It would be best to deposit the inoculum before starting the experiment and wait until there is no further notable biogas production from it. Once this happens, start your experiment.
Biogas Production Process
Biogas production is a process that involves the use of anaerobic digestion to decompose organic matter to produce methane gas in the bio-digester. The composting process occurs within a sealed container, such as a tank or an anaerobic digester.
The process begins by adding organic material to the container. This can include manure, wastewater, and food scraps.
Once this material has been added, it is sealed off from oxygen and water. This prevents further decay of the material itself through aerobic bacteria processes.
Once sealed off, you will need to maintain the correct temperature and pH levels in order for digestion to occur efficiently.
This can be achieved through heating or cooling depending on what materials have been added. If you’re using manure, it’s best not to overheat it because it will kill off any living organisms.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on oxygen levels so that no aerobic bacteria can start growing again (this would mean your biogas production process would fail).
Once these conditions have been met, you’re ready for the next step, maintaining them!
Components Of A Biogas Plant
- Mixing tank – In the mixing tank, water is added to the feed material (dung) and thoroughly mixed until a homogeneous slurry forms.
- Inlet pipe – The sludge is fed into the digester through an inlet pipe/tank.
- Digester – The slurry is fermented inside the digester, and biogas is produced through bacterial action.
- Gas holder or gas storage dome – The biogas is collected in a gas holder, which remains until used.
- Outlet pipe – The slurry is contained in the outlet tank and discharged through either a pipe or an opening provided at the bottom of the tank.
- Gas pipeline – The gas pipeline transports the gas from its source to where it is used, such as for cooking.
Advantages of Anaerobic Bio-digester
Cheaper To Construct
Anaerobic bio-digester is cheaper to construct because they do not require a lot of space, unlike aerobic systems. This means you can use a smaller area to build your system, which will still produce the same amount of energy.
The other advantage is that anaerobic systems are easier to install, as they do not require pipes or machinery.
Anaerobic Bio-digesters Do Not Require High Maintenance
The main reason is that they are designed to run continuously, with minimal interaction from the user.
This means that there is no need to monitor the gas production levels constantly or add more food waste if they become low.
The system will continue to operate optimally without any human intervention required.
Faster to Construct
Anaerobic digesters require less time to construct than other bio-digesters because they don’t need as much equipment or maintenance as different types of systems do.
This makes them appealing to farmers who want to start their farm’s waste treatment process quickly!
Saves on Land Since They are Buried Underground
Anaerobic digesters can be buried underground and don’t take up a lot of space, which means they can be built in backyards instead of taking up valuable land.
This saves money and reduces the amount of space taken up by the system.
This also makes them more efficient since they don’t need to be located near any roads or other infrastructure, so you don’t have to worry about any issues with power or water lines running through your property.
Uses of Biogas
It Can Be Used as a Cheaper Form of Electricity
Biogas is made from the waste products of plants, animals, and humans. It is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. The gas that a bio-digester can produce, can be used to produce electricity. The power generated by biogas is cheaper than other sources, such as oil or coal.
The cost of producing electricity using biogas is less than $0.10 per kilowatt hour (kWh). This means that it costs less than $0.10 to generate 1 kilowatt of electricity using biogas compared to more than $0.50 per kWh using fossil fuels such as oil or coal.
Can Be Used in Vehicles to Replace Compressed Natural Gases
Compressed natural gases are currently used in vehicles such as buses and forklifts. Compressed natural gas contains about 80% methane and 20% carbon dioxide with very low levels of sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx).
However, there are some concerns about this fuel source because it may emit more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel engines.
Gas a Bio-digester can Produce is Used as Cooking Gas in Developing Countries
Biogas is a renewable energy source that can be produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic waste material.
It can be used as a cooking fuel in developing countries where there is no access to electricity or clean cooking fuels such as LPG and kerosene.
The biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic waste material contains methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapors.
Methane gas (CH4) has many important uses, including; street lighting, heating systems, cooking, and power generation.
The amount of gas a biodigester can produce depends on how it is designed and built.
Many factors are involved, including temperature, moisture content of the material fed into the digester, and overall design and build quality.
You must know all these underlying factors to understand how much gas your biodigester can give.