Biogas. A term that encompasses gas fuels like bio-propane and bio-methane, which are recovered from forestry, wastewater, arboricultural or landfill waste. Which means biogas are net-zero emissions when used. Sources from feedstock waste are diverse and widely available. So, they can be produced at a variety of locations which are near users. Then, they can be injected into the network.
Producing bio-methane is a process that is already available and it’s much like producing natural gas. Bio-methane can be combined with gas before it’s transmitted to the network. There is no need to modify the process or appliances. Bio-propane production is much like propane, but it’s establishing itself overseas. It’s a transportable fuel, which is ideal for areas that are not in a gas network.
It’s possible to store biogas in networks or in cylinders. It’s an efficient energy that is available on demand. It’s also possible to use bio-propane as a transport fuel. The potential here is life-changing. It’s estimated that Canada could produce as much as 1,300b cubic feet annually. That’s half of their domestic gas consumption! Meanwhile, the UK could produce biogas to fuel up to 50% of demand.
As far as Australia goes, biogas could be powering over 10 million homes by the time we reach 2050. Though, it’s important to note that this is mostly related to biomass rather than biogas production. Still, the potential is significant.
There are also environmental benefits to consider as we convert waste to biogas. It reduces waste and improves our efforts to manage it. This is already common practice in many areas of Europe, including Germany and Norway. The largest reactor in Australis is near New South Wales’ Goulburn. It processes 20% of the waste coming from Sydney households.
Biogas production faces no technical challenges and has already been proven effective.