Bio-gas or methane is made up of CH4 and CO2 in a mixture of about 70% to 29% with other trace gases. Methane is currently being used in India and Thailand in cars and trucks in lieu of gasoline or diesel fuel. Methane is the gas of the future because it’s easy to make in the process known as digestion.
A methane digester is a simple devise that can produce methane easily and cheaply. One reason it hasn’t caught on in colder places of the world is because methane needs to be hot in order to digest organic materials.
Methane production takes place in an oxygen free environment. Anaerobic bacteria with the lack of oxygen and the abundance of organic matter will begin the decomposition process. This process will produce Methane gas and low-odor effluent. The temperature needs to be held constant at 95 F and the PH between 6.6 and 7.6 to keep optimal conditions. Organic matter must be feed into the loop in order to allow the microbes to feed.
This process is very easy to control on a small farm level. The gas produced can run generators that produce electricity or can be compressed to run in cars. Because of the high levels of CO2 in bio-gas, the gas should be sweetened or enriched to remove most of the CO2. This will also allow equipment to run better as many of the trace gases in methane are very corrosive.
Many small farms in countries like India and Nepal use bio-gas for cooking and heating. They produce the gas in small pits and pipe the gas into their simple homes. Waste from 2-3 cows will provide lights and cooking for a few families hooked up on the gas line. The small digesters look like concrete igloos.
I believe that methane produced in small scale size digesters could be the answer to the fuel problems of the 21st century. The garage size digester is my idea of producing Methane gas that can be compressed and burned in your car for fuel. Making a small scale machine is feasible but compressing the gas is a technology that is currently lacking in the market place.
Methane production is isn’t something you start and stop. The methane producing microbes need constant feeding of organic substance in order to survive. One day may be the long looked for trick to controlling the product rate and output of methane gas. This is what is needed to make a home system feasible for methane production.
In conclusion, methane gas is a good alternative to gasoline combustion because it breaks down to co2 and water when burned in combustible engines. It burns clean and can be produced from organic waste which is plentiful in households across the modern world. The use of Methane digesters can eliminate thousands of tons of landfill waste that produces methane released in the air causing global warming and the reduction of use of fossil fuels use for the purpose of transportation.