Anaerobic digesters are quietly working across the globe turning waste products such as manure, rotten food and vegetable oils into usable methane - sometimes called renewable natural gas (RNG) and a harmless solid which can be used like a compost and added straight to the land. It’s good because if the rubbish just went to landfill it would give off the methane anyway as it rots, and that gas is worse for the environment than carbon dioxide. Capturing it and putting it to work is a better alternative.
The process uses microbes inside large tanks to accelerate the conversion, and with current fossil fuel export bans in force it could be a part of the solution to the energy crisis.
Shawn Kreloff, chief executive officer and founder at US digester manufacturer Bioenergy Devco said, “This announcement from President Biden is a critical step forward to address Russia’s unwarranted attack on Ukraine, an independent, sovereign nation. While crippling a major contributor to the Russian economy, the United States is also taking a key step in transitioning our energy portfolio from fossil fuels to one that is powered by renewable sources to create a more energy-independent future.
“Reflecting on President Biden’s remarks to combat the climate crisis, transitioning to renewables and increasing the nation’s clean energy technology will help strengthen our energy independence as the world weans off Russian oil. We must transition towards a circular economic model to power our homes, businesses and key infrastructure. Advanced anaerobic digestion technology is a proven way to support this change to clean, green energy, by turning the 103 million tons of wasted food we generate annually here in the United States into renewable natural gas. Developers of renewable energy technologies like Bioenergy Devco and our sister company BTS Biogas have built over 250 anaerobic digesters worldwide, and these facilities can help reduce the demand we have long placed on fossil fuels. Anaerobic digestion, along with other circular sustainable energy sources, can be catalysts for change.”
• Read about automation at an Italian biogas plant here.