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Advantages and Disadvantages of Biogas Energy

Article November 2015


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4 authors, including:

Mohammad Bagher Askari Fatemeh Golestanian



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Bulletin of Advanced Scientific Research 01 [05] (2015) e-ISSN: 2454-3691

Review Article

Advantages and Disadvantages of Biogas Energy

Askari Mohammad Bagher*1, Golestanian Fatemeh2, Motraz Saman3 and Motamedi Mirhosseini Leili4

of Physics, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran
of Physics, Yazd University, Iran
3Department of Mining Engineering, University of Applied Science and Technology, Zoghal Sang Company, Kerman,

4Department of Agricultural, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

*Corresponding Author Abstract

This paper will study the consumption of biogas in the world and study the
Askari Mohammad Bagher
advantages and disadvantages of biogas. Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different
Department of Physics,
gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can
Payame Noor University,
be produced from the raw materials such as plant material, municipal waste, agricultural
PO Box 19395-3697 Tehran, Iran
waste, manure, sewage, green waste or food waste.
E-mail: MB_Askari@yahoo.com

Biogas energy, Sustainable Energy Sources, organic matter, Non-polluting, Anaerobic fermentation process

1. Introduction
The most organic matter decomposition process begins when relation to the biogas used, but excess heat can lead to thermal heating
it is exposed to sunshine and oxygen. Nevertheless, organic matter can network.[2]
decompose without oxygen, through anaerobic fermentation process. Biogas power Generation: Energy Biogas can also be used to
This occurs due to the bacteria found in the matter which during electricity production. Electricity and heat can be produced by a gas
operation in the absence of oxygen. Landfill see many such generator. Ratio of power and heat production depends on plant design,
disintegration, particularly when wet waste products and receives little but usually in the area of 35% of electricity and 65% heat.[3]
sunshine. As a consequence, many of methane and nitrous oxide is Biogas as Automobile fuel: Relatively speaking, biogas needs significant
produced and into the atmosphere. Biogas is the result of this processing if it is used as Automobile fuel.
decomposition, and it is an energy source like no other. Biogas systems Energy value of separating carbon dioxide in order to achieve
are known a relatively simple and mature technology. The main section a methane of between 95% and 99% is to be raised. Impurities, particles
of a biogas system is a huge tank or digester. Inside the tank, bacteria and water must be removed to avoid mechanical also environmental
through the process of anaerobic digestion of organic waste into damage. Eventually, the gas has to be compressed. Though considerable
methane gas. Every day, the operator of a biogas digester feeding a work is needed to upgrade the biogas methane to fuel and
household of products like kitchen waste, manure from livestock, and environmental benefits are so great that an increasing number of filling
market waste. The methane gas produced inside biogas system might be stations across the country open. Currently between 40 and 50 biogas
used for lighting, cooking, and other energy needs. Fully digest the waste plants in Sweden and the goal is to have 100 before the end of 2007.
out of the biogas system in the form of organic fertilizers.[1] Approximately 4,000 Automotive currently on Swedish roads run on
biogas fuel.[4]
Biogas in Gas Network: purification biogas can be injected
into existing gas networks. Maybe the city gas networks were more
common before, but, in Stockholm, for instance, there is a performance
network of natural gas for cooking stoves, water heaters, stoves, water
heaters and etc.[5]
Biogas in industry: a lot of industries like sugar refineries,
distilleries, dairies and paper mills and processing production waste
that can be digested directly on the site. Biogas can therefore be used for
heating, district heating power production, warming furnaces so on.[6]
Biogas production in the biogas production standard,
bioorganic materials before feeding the biogas plant is processed. The
Fig 1: How Does Biogas Work? (Source: Http://www.simgas.com) plant consists of gas storage, a mixer and two digesters. Fermentation
Biogas is rich in energy as well as an energy source in many tanks called digesters are also vital components of the plant because
areas is appropriate. they anaerob situation in which bacteria provides biogas production.
Bio-gas for warming: maybe the easiest way is to use biogas for Layers have to constantly heated and stirred to ensure a homogeneous
warming. Reason is that, for this purpose, without prior treatment with and continuous discharge of gas. Gas holder container steel airproof
water removal is required. Biogas is commonly for warming buildings in situation that, like a ball floating in the fermentation mixture, cut the
digester air (anaerobiosis) and collect the gas generated normally. In

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Askari Mohammad Bagher et al / Advantages and Disadvantages of Biogas Energy
one of more widely used designs, gas holder is equipped with a gas Continuously flow type: The digester is completely filled, then raw
output, whereas leading to a sludge digester with an overflow pipe into materials continuously added and digested material is continuously
a drainage pit is provided.[7] removed.
Pug flow type: Feed regularly added at the end and with the other
Contact type: This is a continuous kind, However a medium for
bacteria support is provided.

2. Various types of biogas

In an overview, some dummy designs were chosen as they
can be found, for instance, Europe. Plans in a way that all common
elements of modern biogas technology has been selected to appear at
least once. All designs are above the ground, is common in Europe.
Underground structures exist.[11]
Fermenter or the digester is insulated and made of concrete
or steel. To optimize the flow of substrate, large digester is a form of
long channel. Large digesters are almost always ends through rotation
or the rotor or the injection of biogas disturbed. Company yeasts have
two or more yeast is separated. The gas can be collected inside the
digester, so it's usually with a flexible cover. You can also be completely
filled with gas digester and stored in a separate gas holder.[12]
Slurry store sludge for storage during the winter. Stores can
be opened (open liquid manure storage as ordinary) or closed and
connected to the gas holder to capture the remaining gas production.
Typically, the store is be warm and disturbed just before the slurry is
spread on land.[13]
Mixing pit due to the nature of different substrate size and
shape. This is the propeller for mixing and / or rigid substrate and
frequently with a pump to transport substrate to the digester equipped.
Then, the temperature inside the digester substrate in order to prevent
a shock pre-heated in the pit mix.[14]
Fig 2: standard process of biogas production (Source: Element of gas in Europe at 95% of the thermal power a unit
http://www.probiopol.de) that produces electricity for the farm, grid and heat for homes,
greenhouses and other uses. Thermal power unit has the advantage that
Subscribe for digestion biogas production technology is the energy needed can be any combination of gas and fossil energy
especially designed to digest the raw materials. It must powerful enough production. This can, therefore, react to periods of low emissions and
for resist the pressure build and provide anaerobic conditions for the high energy requirements or vice versa.[15]
bacteria inside. Gas-holder is usually flexible material, therefore is protected
Nowadays, a lot of different technologies and types of against the weather. Or it can be placed directly on top of the substrate,
digesters are available. In general, the size of small household biogas can then it acts like a balloon plant, or the in a separate, gas and bags.[16]
be a large commercial plant several thousand cubic meters vary.
Digester size also affects logistics and the contrary. Therefore, they are 3. Advantages of Biogas: [17-18]
often near the source of raw materials is made.[8]
1) Renewable energy sources: To get started, biogas is considered to
Design and type of substrate water content will affect
be a renewable source of energy. Because most of the materials in
digestion. One of the most common classifications of the water content
the form of wastewater produced, just when it is weak, we have to
of the substrate humid classified to digest the contents of the dry mass
stop producing any waste.
of less than 15% and dry digestion is the dry matter content between 20
2) Reduces landfill also use the waste products in the landfill, dump
and 40% of power is power. Manure and sewage sludge digestion wet
sites and farms all over the country, allowing for the reduction of
commonly used, while dry digestion is often applied to the fermentation
soil and water pollution.
from energy crops.[9]
3) Non-polluting: It is also intended to be non-polluting in nature.
In addition, the digester can be used through a number of
Biogas production not needs oxygen, which means that resources
process steps. Single-stage and two-stage digester technology is most
are not using any more fuel.
common today. Digester is a step through any particular separation of
4) Large number of jobs: in any case, job opportunities for thousands
the various stages of the process (acidification, mechanization,
of people in the plants are created. The blessing of jobs in rural
hydrolysis) is determined. All process phases in a single digester is
areas, which are areas targeted for use of biogas. In fact, biogas can
easily be decentralized, making it easier to get access to those
Digesters can be also about how to fill in and fill the spaces.
living in remote areas or the on the verge of frequent power
Digestion types of devices include the following technologies.[10]
Batch type: digestion is at once filled, the digestion of raw materials
5) Cheaper technologies: biogas applications for the technology to use
and then the whole system becomes empty.
it will be better. It can be used to generate electricity and to
Continuously expanding type: In the first stage, the digester to 1/3
warming. Compressed natural gas (CNG), biogas is compressed and
filled, then it continuously as long as filling and the digester is empty.
can be used as fuel for Automotive. Production can be achieved
through a lot of small plants or the a large factory has been done.

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Askari Mohammad Bagher et al / Advantages and Disadvantages of Biogas Energy
6) Reduce the greenhouse effect: the use of landfill gas as forms of Moving to biogas use and applications, the report discusses
energy production reduces greenhouse effect. This is an important the potential of biogas through country due to the raw material, widely
reason why the use of biogas has begun is catching on. used in America recognize that opportunity. There is about 2,200 sites
Biodegradable waste it recycles many shapes and working on biogas production: 191 anaerobic digesters on farms of about 1,500
simple forms and technology. digesters at wastewater treatment plants by using biogas produced just
7) Small investment: Biogas are easy to set up and needs little 250 and 576 landfill gas projects. By comparison, Europe has more than
investment on a small scale. In fact, a lot of farms can make use of 10,000 operating digesters and some communities because they are
biogas plants and waste products produced by their livestock essentially free of fossil fuels.
every day. waste products cow can only provide enough to power a The document referring to the social and economic benefits of
light bulb all day in a day. using biogas, such as increased employment, sustainable waste
management and decentralized energy production. [19] Renewable
4. Disadvantages of Biogas: [17] Energy Capacities by Country, Solar, geothermal, wind, and the biofuels
1) Little progress technology: First of all, systems are already in place energy sources" [20] Information provided by alternative energy tracks
to build biogas is not as efficient as they are. Little new technology global energy allows for a greater understanding of renewable energy
to simplify the process and make it more affordable introduced. As capacity of the international community. Energy capacity in the top ten
a consequence, large-scale industrial production of biogas is still countries, they are linked to different sources of renewable energy.
on the energy map. Although it can solve the energy issues faced by United States of America leads the way in wind power capacity,
countries around the world, very few investors willing to put up following Germany and China is not far off.
the initial capital. The best idea is to build a biogas plant at home,
which means that a system should be put into place, is not central. Table 1: Wind Power
2) Contain impurities: Biogas contains a number of impurities even Capacity(MW) Country
after refining processes have been put in place. When used as fuel 35,296 United States
25,777 Germany
for compression, it can become corrosive to metal parts of the
25,104 China
19,149 Spain
3) Unstable: This is somewhat unsustainable, and it is prone to 10,925 India
explosion if the methane comes in contact with oxygen and 4,850 Italy
flammable nature has become. 4,492 France
4) In a large scale is not attractive: the use of biogas on a large scale is 4,051 United Kingdom
not economically viable and it is very difficult to increase the 3,535 Portugal
efficiency of the biogas system. 3,319 Canada
Even with all the disadvantages the present, countries have
begun to request the use of biogas in everyday life. Public transport has Hydro power is most available in China by more than twice
been extended and built with the help of efficient CNG. The future use of the MW of Brazil, the country with the second largest capacity. The
biogas is clear, even with the problems it is facing. United States has the third largest hydroelectric capacity.
Biogas in the world: the World Bioenergy Association has
made available a comprehensive document that discussed the current Table 2: Hydro Power
global biogas supply and the potential for a variety of uses or the Capacity(MW) Country
markets, including electricity, heat and transportation fuel. 179,056 China
81,955 Brazil
This document is part of a five-part series by the WBA as a proven,
78,054 United States
easily referenced source of information about the renewable energy 75,287 Canada
industry, released, industry and the media. 46,756 Russia
WBA world of great potential for biogas, pointing to estimates 39,546 India
that biogas can be predicted about 6 percent of global primary energy 29,317 Norway
supply, or a third of the current use of fossil fuels, gas is formed. The 22,089 Japan
group in favor of all countries, developing and developed, to set up a 20,850 France
development plan with the aim to use biogas at least 30% of the 16,266 Sweden
potential of biogas by 2030. This program should only include
quantitative targets but a series of actions and a monitoring system to Germany's capacity for photovoltaic solar power is roughly 6
achieve the objectives, according to the WBA. times larger than that of the U.S. However, the United States yet has the
The new WBA document covers the cost of biogas projects to largest capacity of concentrated solar power.
choose from, the measure investment in approximately 5,000 euros ($
6,035) for the installation of 150 kW in size. "The cost of special Table 3: Solar (PV) Power
investment (PER) kW or MW higher for smaller plants and lower for Capacity(MW) Country
6526.00 Germany
larger plants," it says.
5504.76 Spain
As well as many of the potential returns through combining
2347.00 Japan
biogas annually by animals, for example, a milking cow produces 20 1487.71 United States
cubic meters of liquid manure per acre yield of 500 nm cube biogas. Put 908.59 Italy
into perspective how many cows to power an engine generator 100 kW 557.60 Republic of Korea
power output requirements, this report indicates that electrical 253.42 France
efficiency of 35 percent and annual production of 800,000 kWh, 470,000 223.00 China
cubic nanometers biogas will be needed, or the equivalent output of 223.00 India
biogas from manure slurry from 950 cows to the milking intensity, 114.39 Australia
6,000 pigs or the 45 hectares of maize.

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Askari Mohammad Bagher et al / Advantages and Disadvantages of Biogas Energy
Table 4: Solar (CSP) Power to the advantages of biogas as a renewable source of energy, reduce
Capacity(MW) Country landfill, non-polluting, large number of jobs, technology, cheaper,
900.0 United States reduces the greenhouse effect, etc. are considered to be a small
130.0 Spain investment.
37.0 Australia
25.0 Mexico
20.0 Algeria Reference
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5.0 Italy Arshad, M Anjum, T Mahmood - Waste Management, 2011
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renewable energy source are intense. The United States has more than temperature control unit , TM Alkhamis, R El-Khazali, MM Kablan,
3000 megawatts of geothermal energy accessible from the Russian MA Alhusein - Solar Energy, 2000 Elsevier
Federation, which ranks tenth on the list. [3] Renewable energy: sources for fuels and electricity , TB Johansson
- 1993 - books.google.com
Table 5: Geothermal Power [4] Biogas as vehicle fuel , W Papacz - Journal of KONES, 2011 -
Capacity(MW) Country yadda.icm.edu.pl
3153.0 United States [5] Evaluation of energy efficiency of various biogas production and
2195.3 Philippines utilization pathways , M Pschl, S Ward, P Owende - Applied
1132.0 Indonesia Energy, 2010 Elsevier
965.0 Mexico [6] A review of the biogas industry in China , X Jiang, SG Sommer, KV
810.0 Italy
Christensen - Energy Policy, 2011 Elsevier
577.0 New Zealand
535.0 Japan [7] Biogas production: current state and perspectives , P Weiland -
169.0 Kenya Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 2010 Springer
83.0 Turkey [8] Enhancement of biogas production from solid substrates using
81.0 Russian Federation different techniquesa review , TR Sreekrishnan, S Kohli, V Rana -
Bioresource technology, 2004 Elsevier
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used. When pressed, the biogas can also be used to power motor Bioresource technology, 2003 Elsevier
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Table 6: Biogas Power academicjournals.org
Capacity(MW) Country [11] Experimental comparison of MCFC performance using three
3,594 Germany different biogas types and methane , R Bove, P Lunghi - Journal of
1,425 United Kingdom Power Sources, 2005 Elsevier
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477 Italy
tubular digester , H Bouallagui, RB Cheikh, L Marouani, M Hamdi -
427 Australia
Bioresource Technology, 2003 Elsevier
194 Spain
130 Netherlands [13] Balancing of greenhouse gas emissions and economic efficiency for
120 France biogas-production through anaerobic co-fermentation of slurry
117 Canada with organic waste , S Wulf, P Jger, H Dhler - Agriculture,
64 Sweden ecosystems & environment, 2006 Elsevier
[14] Biogas farming in Central and Northern Europe: a strategy for
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of energy crops and injection into the natural gas grid , C Jury, E
Table 7: Biomass Power Benetto, D Koster, B Schmitt, J Welfring - Biomass and Bioenergy,
Capacity(MW) Country 2010 Elsevier
9,391 United States [16] Transient performance of a horizontal floating gas holder type
5,890 Germany biogas plant , GN Tiwari, SB Sharma, SP Gupta - Energy conversion
4,522 Sweden and management, 1988 Elsevier
3,970 Brazil
[17] http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/advantages-and-
2,834 Japan
2,531 Netherlands disadvantages-of-biogas.php
2,381 China [18] http://ecovillage.org.in/ecopedia/alternate-energy/advantages-
2,352 Finland and-disadvantages-of-biogas
2,117 India [19] World Bioenergy Association releases biogas fact sheet , By Anna
1,885 Canada Simet | June 05, 2013
[20] Renewable Energy Capacities by Country , An At-A-Glance Look at
5. Conclusion Wind, Solar, Geothermal, and Biofuel Energy Resources , Written
The technology for the production of biofuels to reduce costs, by Green Chip Stocks , Posted March 12, 2010
address environmental concerns and renewable energy production. Due

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