The wastewater treatment industry is one of the largest producers of biogas in the US. However, whilst both aerobic and anaerobic systems are used for treatment, there are only about 2,000 plants that treat organic waste using anaerobic digestion; this compared to over 10,000 in Europe. Considering that only approximately 16% of these plant use the biogas to generate electricity and about 1% to produce biomethane, it’s easy to see that the potential for expansion of an important industrial activity, directly related to environmental amelioration, is significant.
Biogas is produced from the degradation of organic material during anaerobic digestion. In its optimum state, it is composed primarily of methane (40-70%), carbon dioxide (30 – 50%) and varying amounts of other gases such as nitrogen and trace amounts of contaminants. It is produced not only from the degradation of plant and animal waste but also from the waste that we produce on a daily basis that, until relatively recently, was directed to landfill for disposal.