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Biogas: Waste to Power

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With the world running on fossil fuels and fossil fuels running out we need to find a new source of power. Solar, wind, and hydro power are possible sources but need better designs to be economically efficient. A solution to this problem is bio-gas. Right now there is a large amount of bio-gases escaping to the atmosphere and causing global warming. These gases can be used as a renewable resource to run cars, trains, and power plants at a high efficiency.

The main sources of bio-gases come from sewage and landfills. Animal waste from farms could generate enough bio-gas to power millions of homes. It can be produced through anaerobic digestion in the lagoons were manure water is kept and then captured and sent through purification to be used as fuel for either automobiles or generators for electricity. Although the technology exists few farmers want to put in the expensive machinery required to collect and use the bio-gas. Even with the price of machinery farmers decide to use it as waste management. It will reduce odors and reduce the amount of waste on the farm. Landfills are using the gas that naturally comes from the decomposition of trash as a way of providing power to the machinery that is used at the site.

This will provide a better fuel source for cars. More and More public buses are converting to the cleaner burning gas. If more locations such as landfills, sewage plants, and farms put in plants to produce bio-gas, we could use it for our vehicles. This will greatly reduce air pollution and climate change by taking a green house gas that is at the moment being released directly to the atmosphere and putting it to use for less of an environmental impact than fossil fuels.

Despite the benefits there are some downsides. First is that it doesn’t stop greenhouse gas emissions because it only converts the gases in the process of using them. Secondly, cars at the moment can’t switch from gasoline to bio-gas at will but require changes to the engine. The third reason is that it costs money to place in the plants that use the energy. Finally the gas has materials in it that must be filtered out to use it without destroying the machinery.

Bio-gas is an extremely feasible solution to the coming fossil fuel shortage. It is renewable, clean, and efficient to use with only minor changes. The benefits of using it will outweigh the problems. It is readily available at the moment and the technology is there to use it.





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