• Question: what are the benifits of biogas opposed to fractions obtained from crude oil?

    Asked by totallynotseamus to Henry on 18 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Henry Porter

      Henry Porter answered on 18 Jun 2014:

      There are a few things to consider:

      Biogas is a renewable energy source when we use food or animal waste as the source. Some people want to use edible food as the fuel to generate biogas. This is not advisable because it can increase food prices.

      Switching to biogas reduces our greenhouse gas emissions because when we burn it we release carbon dioxide (CO2), which is much less harmful than the methane (CH4) that would have been released into the atmosphere otherwise.

      Biogas generators can be installed in animal farms where there is plenty of
      dung available. The energy can be sold back to the national grid or used immediately. This can help improve the quality of life for everyone living there. The same is true for large apartment blocks.

      One of the nice things about crude oil fractions is that you can get a variety of different substances out at the end. Some friends of mine at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Narbonne, France are working to find ways to extract all of the useful substances contained in food waste in a similar way.