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  • Biogas is a biologically generated renewable energy that can be produced from organic wastes by simple systems and used for cooking, lighting, heating, absorption refrigeration, etc.
  • Biogas consists mostly of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and a mix of trace gases including nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), hydrogen and others.[1]
  • It can be burned in its natural form in a variety of applications such as combined heat and power (CHP) via cogeneration.[2]
  • If cleaned can be put directly into the natural gas grid.[3]
YouTube video demonstrating use of biogas digesters in a rural village in China.



Readily degradable organic matter, such as effluent & sewage, animal waste, grass clippings, waste paper, leftover food.


Simple to complex!


  • Biogas Nord - "Biogas Nord is an engineering firm that has specialised in the development, planning, construction and operation of biogas plants since the mid-90s."[1]
  • BIOTEC - BIOTEC creates "conceptual tools, technologies and methods adapted to Tropical regions for wastewater treatment (farming, agro-industrial and urban sectors) and organic solid waste management", including for biogas.[2]
  • ENERGYBIO - Energybio is involved in large scale biogas development, construction and consultancy for total waste management across the globe.[3]
  • ENSPAR Biogas GmbH - Conducts "project engineering for several biogas plant sellers....[including] technical construction and the process engineering of biogas plants".
  • OGIN biogas B.V. - "OGIN Biogas develops and delivers biogas installations, based on industrial concepts for agriculture and industry."
  • SEaB Energy Ltd - "SEaB Energy Ltd is a designer, manufacturer & installer of renewable energy micro generation systems, specialising in anaerobic digestion & wind energy for small local installations." [4]
  • ZORG Biogas - "ZORG is biogas plants construction company" that works "at the junction of several sciences – biotechnology, construction and engineering."[5]




  • On-Farm Anaerobic Digester Trends In The United States, April 2011 by BioCycle: "AgSTAR National Program Manager Chris Voell offered some perspective behind the statistics regarding what is driving the growth of anerobic digestion (AD) in America. In a nutshell, he says, if we want to realize the environmental and economic benefits that digester systems can bring, business models must be developed to make the projects viable (e.g., revenue, financing), a more conducive environment to attract investors must be created and energy policy has to be altered to be more supportive of smaller, distributed generation projects like AD. While government incentives and private investment are helping to drive growth, a handful of states are demonstrating how visionary policy is perhaps what is needed most."
    • "Voell points to volunteer programs such as 'Cow Power,' a Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) voluntary program that allows customers to purchase electricity generated from dairy digesters at a premium (the generating farms receive 4 cents per kilowatt hour if they participate in the program)."
    • "Programs such as these, Voell says, allow citizens the opportunity to encourage development of smaller renewable energy projects in their communities and realize the improved quality of life that they bring (odor control, enhanced revenue generation, air and water quality improvements)."[6]
  • Swedes eye budding biofuels industry, 25 March 2011 by Mmegi Online: "The Swedish government and its private sector are hoping to secure a foothold in Botswana's nascent biofuels industry that kicked off recently with plans for a five million-litre per annum processing plant."
    • "Specifically, the Swedes hope to be involved in jatropha research, the "wonder plant" whose cultivation and oil are expected to fuel the processing plant government plans to purchase this year."
    • "According to the MoU, the Scandinavian nation is also interested in biodiesel production from animal fat and biogas production from cow dung."
    • "The Swedes also hope to cooperate with Botswana in the development of strategies on energy efficiency for the transport sector, as well as on renewable energies and biomass - the renewable energy from biological material."
    • "Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) CEO, Jacob Raleru, stressed that the country's energy policy requires 25 percent of all electricity to be from solar power by 2030."[7]
  • New FAO study shows integrated food and energy crops work for poor farmers, 17 February 2011 by Food and Agriculture Organization: "Producing food and energy side-by-side may offer one of the best formulas for boosting countries' food and energy security while simultaneously reducing poverty, according to a new FAO report."
    • "'Farming systems that combine food and energy crops present numerous benefits to poor rural communities,' said Alexander Müller, FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources."
    • "'With these integrated systems farmers can save money because they don't have to buy costly fossil fuel, nor chemical fertilizer if they use the slurry from biogas production. They can then use the savings to buy necessary inputs to increase agricultural productivity, such as seeds adapted to changing climatic conditions — an important factor given that a significant increase in food production in the next decades will have to be carried out under conditions of climate change.'"
    • "Integrating food and energy production can also be an effective approach to mitigating climate change, especially emissions stemming from land use change."[8]
    • "To see the full report, go to Making Integrated Food-Energy Systems (IFES) Work for People and Climate - An Overview(PDF File)"


  • China Farm Gets Shocking Amount of Power From Cow Poop, 6 May 2010 by The New York Times: "A 250,000-head dairy operation in northeast China plans to open the world's largest cow manure-fed power project in September, according to General Electric Co., the company supplying four biogas turbines to the Liaoning Huishan Cow Farm in Shenyang. For comparison, the largest U.S. dairy farms have 15,000 cattle."
    • "China's newest livestock digester will reduce piles of dung, yield fertilizer and heat, and will supply 38,000 megawatt-hours of power annually to the state's power grid, enough to meet the average demand of some 15,000 Chinese residents. It produces biogas, a methane and carbon dioxide mix emanating from manure, grease, sewage or other organic materials allowed to stew in an oxygen-free chamber."
    • "The barriers to the expansion of biogas are about economics, not technology, and how long it takes for biogas projects to pay off varies country by country."
    • "The biogas field could be one more example of the ways the United States is falling behind China. Yesterday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the United States is lagging behind China, which provides strong tax incentives for a host of renewable energy technologies."[11]
  • PRC's Drive to Tap Biogas in Rural Sector Gets ADB Loan, 19 April 2010 press release by the Asian Development Bank: "The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) drive to expand the use of biogas energy generated from waste materials is getting support from a $66.08 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan."
    • "The financial assistance for the Integrated Renewable Biomass Energy Development Sector Project has been approved by ADB's Board of Directors. The loan will be used to help construct biogas plants in poor rural areas of Heilongjiang, Henan, Jiangxi and Shandong provinces, benefiting 118 livestock farms and agricultural enterprises.
    • "The project will introduce high-temperature flare technology to minimize methane gas emissions from the plants. It will support the manufacture of bio-fertilizers from biogas sludge for eco-farming, aiding the government’s push to encourage the reuse and recycling of organic waste."
    • "Under PRC’s Medium- and Long-Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy, about 10,000 large-scale biogas plants are earmarked to be set up on livestock farms by 2020 with an annual biogas yield of up to 14 billion cubic meters."[13]


  • Hoping for a Green Renewal, Mich. City Will Turn Sewage to Fuel, 2 November 2009 by the Washington Post: Flint, Michigan, "and local Kettering University have teamed up with a Swedish company to turn Flint's municipal sewage into fuel for its bus fleet while reducing or ending the need to incinerate sewage sludge."
    • "The company, Swedish Biogas International, received a $4 million grant from Michigan's Centers of Energy Excellence program to develop the biogas system, which officials hope will begin powering buses by next summer. Producing methane from sewage, landfills and manure is common in the United States, but the gas is more often burned onsite to produce electricity rather than compressed and purified for use by vehicles."[14]


  • Thailand encourages biogas production from cassava and palm oil waste 5 February 2007 from Biopact. In order to encourage tapioca and palm oil processors to utilize liquid effluent waste for energy production, Thailand's National Energy Policy Council has now increased its purchase price of electricity generated from biogas made from Palm oil mill effluent (POME) and cassava processing effluents, from 2 baht per kilowatt/hour to 2.30 baht. This will encourage very small power producers (VSPP) projects and help improve the environmental balance of biofuels made from those feedstocks.


  • Wastewater Plant Turns Kitchen Grease Into Biogas 21 Nov 2006 from Chevron Energy Solutions and the City of Millbrae, California have completed new facilities at Millbrae's Water Pollution Control Plant that uses inedible kitchen grease from restaurants to naturally produce biogas for generating renewable power and heat to treat the city's wastewater. The grease and other organic matter will produce enough biogas at the plant to generate about 1.7 million kilowatt hours annually, which will meet 80 percent of the plant's power needs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 million pounds annually.

Biogas in rural development



  • Gender Mainstreaming Guide for Africa Biogas Partnership Programme by ENERGIA, July 2010. "The Guide targets non-gender specialists in recognising and addressing gender issues in their work, with the intention of demystifying gender, and clarifying the concept and practice of 'gender mainstreaming' within African Biogas Partnership Program. Accompanied by a Resource Kit, this Guide uses experiences from Asia as well as Africa."

Scientific papers









  1. Schatz Energy Research Center Biogas study
  2. Biogas Cogeneration
  3. Environmental Power announces first delivery of pipeline-quality biogas

Bioenergy conversion technologies edit
Technologies categorized by bioenergy processes:

Biochemical: Aerobic, Anaerobic, Landfill gas collection (LFG), Biodiesel production, Ethanol production
Thermochemical: Combustion, Gasification, Pyrolysis, Depolymerization

Technologies categorized by feedstock:
Algae | Cellulosic technology

Technologies by commercialization status:

Analysis of technologies: Life-cycle analysis


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