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Biological gas (biogas) is created by the decomposition of organic material. When the material breaks down methane and other gasses are produced. Methane is a greater contributor to global warming than carbon dioxide and so burning biogas in a biomass generator is a cleaner way of getting rid of this by-product of waste disposal.
Biogas is produced both from specialist processing plants that take sewage and farm run-off, and by landfill sites.
This makes Biogas renewable as sewage and landfills will always be around. Biogas can be purified into a material similar to natural gas and can be used within the natural gas infrastructure.
The UK currently generates 4997 GW/h of electricity from Biogas, which would otherwise have been released in the atmosphere, where it is a powerful contributor to climate change.
So there is a double benefit - triple in fact as it also saves waste disposal.
Biogas to electricity is a minor player in energy production but can still provide useful power. It will be more popular in the future as green economies become more important, and integrated recycling and reuse systems become popular.
Small-scale biogas plants are suitable for rural areas where space can be created for the storage tank. Ideally suited to farms, the Gober Gas system commonly found in India can be installed to take cow dung and convert it into a clean cooking/heating gas with the leftover by-product an ideal fertiliser.
See also our blog on no smell biogas in Germany >