What is the Primary Products of Biogas Plants
If you have missed our previous notes on biogas, please check out our notes section on our Facebook page. The purpose of this series is to better explain the process of biogas and its benefits in a simple fashion. The last time we discussed the inputs, or what is ‘fed’ into the digester. Now we will look at the two key products of biogas plants: biogas and the liquid digestate.
Biogas is the type of energy that is created through “Anaerobic Digestion” (discussed in our previous note, ‘What is Biogas, Really?”). It can be used to fuel an engine generator set for electricity and heat production. It can also be cleaned up and injected into the natural gas pipeline network where it can be sold to natural gas users for heating and transportation needs. All of our current biogas customers have a contract that allows them to connect to the local electrical grid and sell the energy to the Province of Ontario. This is the primary revenue stream of a biogas plant. If the customer has excess energy they will often use it to heat their farm, home, pools etc.
The leftover liquid digestate of the biogas process also has great value. The primary use of this is as a field fertilizer. The organic material is filled with nutrients and acts as a natural soil amendment. In addition to fertilizing, a screw press can be used to separate solid and liquid fractions allowing dry organic material to be used as a bedding source. We call this “green bedding” as we are able to convert the solid organic material that would appear to be waste into a dry usable form of bedding for the animals.
Now that we’ve covered the basic process and mechanics of biogas, we will next look at the benefits biogas can bring to us and our environment. If you have any biogas related questions, please let us know and we will address them in a future note.