Recovering Methane Gas: A Boon to the Environment

Methane gas is produced from the anaerobic degradation of organic compounds.  It is a greenhouse gas that if properly utilized can help save the environment instead of contributing to its demise. It comes from the manure of livestock and other animals and is also available in huge amounts deep in the earth.  Here is why recovering methane gas is good for the environment.

Environmental Benefits

According to lagoon covers experts the collection of biogas can prevent methane from going into the environment and turning into a greenhouse gas. Biogas can create heat and electricity and therefore can reduce the operating cost of a farm and the surplus may be used to power a small town or city.  Using biogas may minimize the need for other fuels. This means lesser pollution from mining, drilling, burning and transporting. Using it also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere an important factor in climate change.

How to Recover Methane Gas

According to gas collection covers experts a practical way of harvesting methane gas is via the installation of an anaerobic digestion system. This approach is beneficial to the environment because it uses methane as electricity which lowers energy cost as well as reduce odors and improve the handling of manure in a farm setup.  Moreover, using one also minimizes the risk for groundwater and surface contamination.

Kinds of Digesters

Covered Lagoon Digester

This is mainly used  on large-volume, liquid manure lagoons which have less than 2% solids.  In order for the methane to be collected, a floating lagoon cover is necessary as well as a gas pump. It can be used for dairy and swine operations and is ideal in areas where manure is handled as a liquid. Among the different systems available this is the simplest and cheapest one. However, it is not recommended for use in cold temperate zones.

Plug-Flow Digester

This is used for ruminant animal manure that features 11% to 14% solids. The plug goes through the digester in 15 to 20 days and features only few moving parts.

Complete Mix Digester

This is essential for manure with 2% to 10% solids. A mixing system will keep the solids in suspension which will speed up the process of digestion. They cost more to build and operate than lagoon digesters.