Biogas production and use are gaining popularity as an alternative energy source for commercial and home use. It is also a viable solution to many environmental problems, including excess carbon dioxide emission and organic waste disposal. Moreover, it has countless uses, including heating, lighting, cooking, etc.
Additionally, it is a trusted alternative to classic fossil fuels as it emits minimal greenhouse gases. Therefore, biogas production deserves the campaign and awareness it is receiving from global organizations. However, with all these benefits, biogas has its downsides.
Below are the pros and cons of biogas.
Pros of Biogas
Biogas production does not involve oxygen, meaning there is no combustion, making it a clean energy source. Biogas results from anaerobic digestion, which is plant and animal waste breakdown through bacterial action. The main difference is that this process produces less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel burning.
In addition, burning biogas emits carbon dioxide equivalent to the amount plants need to grow. It also releases less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels making it a viable weapon against global warming and climate change.
Biogas is an eco-friendly fuel coming from renewable sources. Biodigesters limit methane in the atmosphere by capturing and using this harmful gas as fuel. With the help of biogas upgrading systems, this fuel becomes purified.
Pro: It Controls Environmental Pollution
When you fill your waste bin with home and kitchen waste, it will likely end up in a water body or an overflowing dumping site. These landfills are ugly and stinky and produce and allow toxic fluids to sieve into the soil and underground water sources.
Therefore, turning to biogas energy will direct this waste to profitable rather than destructive places. So, it saves the soil, air, and water from pollution. Furthermore, anaerobic digestion can deactivate parasites and pathogens, making it a sure way to reduce waterborne diseases.
Pro: Preventing Biodiversity Loss and Health Complications
The toxins leaching from landfills pose health problems to people and animals. Again, with the rampant population growth, more waste is ending up in the open environment than before. As a result, there is a need for more dumping sites, necessitating the clearing of wild areas that are also home to animals and provide ecosystem services.
Nevertheless, research shows that areas with biogas plants have better waste management techniques. Consequently, biogas leads to an improvement in environmental maintenance, hygiene, and sanitation.
Pro: A Cooking Alternative
Biogas is an alternative cooking valuable in many ways. First, it saves you the taunting work of collecting firewood or making charcoal. Most importantly, it is a safer option as it does not emit harmful gases like burning charcoal and wood, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.
Surprisingly, research shows that over four million people die prematurely yearly from illnesses resulting from fossil fuels used in cooking. Therefore, adopting biogas will help reduce these deaths significantly.
Cons of Biogas
Sadly, the biogas production technology is not efficient enough. In addition, there are no new technology advancements to lower the production cost and simplify the process. With this, large-scale production remains challenging, meaning the existing plants cannot supply large populations.
The biggest challenge is that as much as the available plants can meet energy needs and curb some environmental and economic problems, most governments shy away from investing in biogas production. As a result, many people have installed biomass systems in their homes, but their capacity is low.
Con: Biogas Contains Impurities
Biogas will have impurities even after refinement and compression. Suppose you use this biofuel in your automotive application. The impurities can corrode the engine’s metal parts. The effect increases your vehicle’s maintenance cost. So, this mixture of gases is only beneficial in the kitchen and homes for lamps and cooking stoves.
Con: Unstable and Hazardous
Methane reacts to create carbon dioxide when it comes in touch with oxygen. Moreover, methane is explosive due to its highly flammable nature. Therefore, biogas is unstable and dangerous, meaning you must handle it carefully. Contrarily, it is advisable to have an expert do the piping when installing biogas appliances in your home, especially cooking stoves and lamps.
Con: Biogas Effects on Temperature
Like other renewable energy sources, biogas production suffers from weather fluctuations. Again, bacterial digestion takes place effectively at about 37 degrees Celsius. Thus, in cold regions or weather under 20 degrees Celsius, you will require additional heat energy to retain a constant biogas supply. As the weather gets colder, you may lack biogas to run your home. That means you need a backup in your home in such instances.
Biogas is one of the most reliable natural renewable sources of energy today. It is a promising solution to today’s environmental threats, like climate change and global warming. While it is a trusted clean energy source, it has advantages and disadvantages.