Biogas is the gaseous emissions from anaerobic degradation of organic matter (from plants or animals) by a consortium of bacteria. Biogas is principally a mixture of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) along with other trace gases. Methane gas, the primary component of natural gas (98%), makes up 55-90% by volume of biogas, depending on the source of organic matter and conditions of degradation.
Biogas is produced in all natural environments that have low levels of oxygen (O2) and have degradable organic matter present. These natural sources of biogas include: aquatic sediments, wet soils, buried organic matter, animal and insect digestive tracts, and in the core of some trees. Man's activities create additional sources including landfills, waste lagoons, and waste storage structures.
Atmospheric emissions of biogas from natural and man-made sources contribute to climate change due to methane's potent greenhouse gas properties. Biogas technology permits the recovery of biogas from anaerobic digestion of organic matter using sealed vessels, and makes the biogas available for use as fuel for direct heating, electrical generation or mechanical power and other uses. Biogas is often made from wastes but can be made from biomass energy feedstocks as well.
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