Essay on BioGas - The Energy of Our Future

Submitted By shalkast1
Words: 1767
Pages: 8

Ten years ago gasoline prices were around $1.00 and there was plenty of oil. Now gasoline is reaching the $5.00 mark, the population has grown to an outrageous amount and landfills are filling to the point that they must be closed. Many forms of energy we use in our homes and cars are not being replenished. Fossil fuels took millions of years to create. They cannot be made over night. There are finite or limited amounts of these non-renewable energy sources. That means they cannot be renewed or replenished. Once they are gone they cannot be used again. We must all do our part in saving as much energy as we can. Scientists are researching alternatives to oil, coal and natural gas because those resources are dwindling and damaging the earth. An alternative to these fuels is Bio Gas. Bio gas has become appealing because it has the capability to generate energy from organic waste. Organic waste is plentiful and widely accessible. Everyday food waste, human and animal waste, and crop waste can be used to produce Bio Gas. Bio Gas can improve standards of living economically and socially, protect natural resources and is inexpensive to produce and maintain.
According to Curry and Pillay, the first anaerobic digestion plant used to turn waste into energy was built in 1859. Although there is note of the process occurring in much earlier times, the first was built in Bombay, India. Since then, it is surprising how widely used this process is. Bio gas systems can be found in Africa, India, Germany, Denmark, Austria and the United States (201). Amweelo reports, Bio Gas is a combination of methane and carbon dioxide. The methane and carbon dioxide are produced when bacteria forms on vegetables or organic materials in airless conditions called a vacuum. The process is also known as anaerobic, or without air, digestion. Amweelo says, fossil-based fuels are getting low, becoming more expensive and causing carbon dioxide emission levels to increase. Methane gases produced by landfills, although not as prominent as carbon dioxide, are also increasing due to landfill emissions. The time has come to educate the world and take part in saving the planet. It is time we combine all renewable resources together and replace the ones that damage the earth. Solar power, wind power and Bio Gas power are all renewable energy sources. Bio Gas, the least recognized, has benefits and potential as a source of energy supply and is being increasingly acknowledged. One reason Bio Gas can be used as the energy of our future is because it improves the standard of living economically and socially. Smith reports, the average American produces more than 900 pounds of garbage or waste every year. The organic waste sitting and decomposing in landfills yields methane gas. Methane gas is 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Many landfills expel this gas into atmosphere, yet some facilities are exploring how to use it to fuel trash haulers and other vehicles. New facilities need new employment. According to Amweelo, Bio Gas could provide jobs for thousands of people when its true potential is reached. Many local jobs are produced from Bio Gas projects. It takes experienced people to build a Bio Gas dig-ester and multiple local companies emerge to take on the task. Even more jobs can be produced based on the size and complexity of the plant being built. There are several types of small Bio Gas plant designs used mostly by homes and farms. There are also more complex designs used on a larger scale or commercial level. The Bio Gas used in these plants comes from waste and many landfills contain the waste that can be used. By diverting waste from landfills, the cost of transportation is saved and the Landfill Tax is reduced. According to Curry and Pillay, the last landfill in New York City was closed around 2001 and now 12,500 tons of trash is transported everyday outside the state in different ways (200). That is