What Is Biogas and Why Has It Become the Fuel of Choice for Millions?

Lee Richards

This is a live streamed presentation. You will automatically follow the presenter and see the slide they're currently on.

How did this popular fuel made from decomposing organic matter reach the level of popularity that it enjoys today? Answers to this question lie in understanding the biogas formation process and also the importance of natural gas monitoring. Many people are aware that biogas originates from the decomposition of organic matter such as food waste or agricultural waste. These organic materials, when combined with atmospheric moisture and microbial action can result in the production of methane as they break down, which is a highly volatile compound that is extremely flammable yet burns relatively cleanly.

The process of biogas formation can take place at any place where there is enough oxygen and rotting organic matter for a biological system to flourish. So, what is biogas then? It is the gaseous byproduct of biomass decomposition, including compost and dead plant material along with other materials. The composition and properties of biogas also vary greatly depending on what material is used in the decomposition process and the unique biome of each production site.

A natural gas like this is generally not classified as dangerous to humans at low concentrations; however, the potential exists for the gas to seep out into the air and form a build up, especially in enclosed systems. There have been reports of cases where natural gases have escaped to the environment, posing danger to living things and thus the need for proper gas testing has become important. These tests are usually done through detection of gases in the air. They are then sent through leak detection equipment, which is specifically designed to detect these gases and their source.

There are many stages involved in the production of methane and natural biogas, and in a landfill setting it can take about 10 years for the site to develop an optimal biome for gas production. This can include bacterial, fungi and other forms of microscopic life, though bacteria are the most important kingdom when it comes to breaking down organic matter for energy production. Bacteria break down organic material when they consume it, much like how animals break down food in their digestive systems to release the nutrients into their bodies.

biogas monitoring test first requires samples of what is going to be tested in order to determine whether or not it has the right composition and concentration, and that there are no leaks or other issues within the system. Next, testing will take place in order to determine the exact composition of each sample of gas. This includes determining the exact amount of methane present, as well as different gases such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It is important to test all possible sources of contamination, and all batches of biogas are tested.

The actual process of biogas testing normally begins with the collection of a sample. Samples are taken from natural environments or those in which biogas production takes place in a more heavily controlled setting such as a landfill or agricultural waste management system. These samples are then either sent to a laboratory for analysis, or they can be tested and monitored in the field using portable gas testing devices. Once analysis is complete and a conclusion has been reached, an official biogas report is then released.

The most serious aspect of biogas management is the importance of taking proper safety and security measures to avoid putting others at risk. A biogas leak alert system is one way to help prevent this type of situation. These systems are placed outside of residences, businesses, schools, and other premises that have a supply of natural gas, and they notify residents and business owners if there is contamination or a gas leak.

Though rare, biogas leaks can be a real threat to both the environment and people. Learning more about the risks and costs of dealing with a gas leak, and knowing how to prevent them are just a few things people can do to make gas management more safe. However, if you believe your premises or a premises you have visited might be suffering a gas leak, then it is vital to report any suspicions so potential leaks can be dealt with swiftly and safely.