Biomethane - the seven minute version

Explained in a film (from "operation climate threat", Youtube)

 if you prefer reading:

  making fuel from waste

When cows digest food, the process produces gas. Biogas production mimics a cow´s stomach. Pieces of plants, manure, sewage, coffee grinds, banana peels...everything that has grown in nature, will decompose when mixed with bacteria. Put in: waste from farming, food processing or what we flush down the toilet. Out comes: biogas

       Biogas/Biomethane

The gas that comes out of the waste processing is called biogas. 
Biogas can be used to fuel stoves, heat homes and make electricity.
If you want to fuel cars, buses, trucks or ships with it (= replace "natural gas", which is fossil methane drilled up from the ground), you need to concentrate the gas to 97% methane content.
Hence the name bio-methane. 

     what´s the big deal?

First and foremost;
Biomethane does not contain fossil carbon Burning methane turns it into water and carbon dioxide.The climate problem is caused by an increasing concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) that contain carbon that was long since taken out of the equilibrium between what we breathe and the plants and seas absorb, adds carbon to the atmosphere. The carbon in plants is different. It is non-fossil and part of the equlibrium. This means that when we burn biomethane, the emitted CO2 is of non-fossil origin and therefore does not contribute to the climate threat. 

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Summary


 

1. The waste that comes from the fact that every person and animal has to eat, including manure and what we do in the toilet, can in three weeks be converted into a fuel for cars. One banana peel decomposes into gas enough to drive a biomethane car 130 meters.

2. This fuel is non-fossil which means that the car will not emit CO2 contributing to the climate problem.

3. By using this technology two problems are solved:

a) the climate emissions from decomposing material at landfills and farms are avoided.

b) cars built for fossil fuels can become Zero Carbon Vehicles. New cars, but also cars already in use.

Example: Italy has 1 million methane powered vehicles (2020) If Italy would do what California has done, (see The Green Investment Loop) six years from now more than 1 million Italian cars would run on a 77% non-fossil fuel mix.  A fuel produced in a way thatin itself radically reduces emissions from Italian agriculture.