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The Biogas Boom

By Gerald Ondrey |

It probably isn’t going to solve all the world’s energy needs, but producing biogas from waste can help slash the energy bills at some production plants, sewage-treatment plants and even farms. And for those companies offering biogas technology, business is booming. For example, Eisenmann Anlagenbau AG & Co. KG (Böblingen, Germany; www.eisenmann.com) has been active in the biogas market since 2003, and the company says that international demand has grown considerably in recent years. More than 90 plants of very different designs of Eisenmann are currently in operation, including 20 biogas plants in Italy. Germany is the undisputed biogas champion, with over 7,100 of the estimated 10,000 biogas plants in Europe. These facilities account for 11% of the electricity generated in Germany by renewables, according to BioPro Baden-Württemberg GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany; www.bio-pro.de). The U.S. has over 2,200 sites producing biogas, according to the American Biogas Council (Washington, D.C.; www.americanbiogascouncil.org), including 186 anaerobic digesters on farms, 1,500 at wastewater treatment plants and 576 landfill-gas projects.   Anaerobic digestion  Figure 1. The Memthane process features an…
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