Design of a Biogas Plant

Note: This work contains only the schematic diagram/design of a biogas plant

Biogas typically refers to a mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from regionally available raw materials such as recycled waste. It is a renewable energy source and in many cases exerts a very small carbon footprint.

Biogas is produced by anaerobic digestion with anaerobic bacteria or fermentation of biodegradable materials such as manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and crops. It is primarily methane (CH)
4) and carbon dioxide (CO)
2) and may have small amounts of hydrogen sulphide (H)
2S), moisture and siloxanes.

The gases methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide (CO) can be combusted or oxidized with oxygen. This energy release allows biogas to be used as a fuel; it can be used for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat.

Biogas can be compressed, the same way natural gas is compressed to CNG, and used to power motor vehicles. In the UK, for example, biogas is estimated to have the potential to replace around 17% of vehicle fuel. It qualifies for renewable energy subsidies in some parts of the world. Biogas can be cleaned and upgraded to natural gas standards when it becomes bio methane.

Biogas is practically produced as landfill gas (LFG) or digested gas. A biogas plant is the name often given to an anaerobic digester that treats farm wastes or energy crops. It can be produced using anaerobic digesters. These plants can be fed with energy crops such as maize silage or biodegradable wastes including sewage sludge and food waste. During the process, an air-tight tank transforms biomass waste into methane, producing renewable energy that can be used for heating, electricity, and many other operations that use a reciprocating internal combustion engine, such as GE Jenbacher or Caterpillar gas engines.[4] Other internal combustion engines such as gas turbines are suitable for the conversion of biogas into both electricity and heat.

There are two key processes: mesophilic and thermophilic digestion which is dependent on temperature. In experimental work at University of Alaska Fairbanks, a 1000-litre digester using psychrophiles harvested from "mud from a frozen lake in Alaska" has produced 200–300 liters of methane per day, about 20%–30% of the output from digesters in warmer climates.

How does a biogas plant work?
1 Organic input materials such as foodstuff remnants, fats or sludge can be fed into the biogas plant as substrate.
2 Renewable resources such as corn, beets or grass serve as feed both for animals such as cows and pigs as well as for the micro organisms in the biogas plant.
3 Manure and dung are also fed into the biogas plant.
4 In the fermenter, heated to approx. 38-40 °C, the substrate is decomposed by the micro organisms under exclusion of light and oxygen. The final product of this fermentation process is biogas with methane as the main ingredient. But aggressive hydrogen sulphide is also contained in the biogas. A fermenter made of stainless steel has the clear advantage that it withstands the attacks of the hydrogen sulphide and is usable for decades. Furthermore, a stainless steel fermenter provides the opportunity to operation the biogas plant also in the thermophile temperature range (up to 56 °C).
5 Once the substrate has been fermented, it is transported to the fermentation residues end storage tank and can be retrieved from there for further utilisation.
6 The residues can be utilised as high quality fertiliser. The advantage: Biogas manure has a lower viscosity and therefore penetrates into the ground more quickly. Furthermore, the fermentation residue quite often has a higher fertiliser value and is less intense to the olfactory senses.
7 But drying it and subsequently using it as dry fertiliser is also an option.
8 The biogas generated is stored in the roof of the tank and from there it
9 is burned in the combined heat and power plant (CHP) to generate electricity and heat.
10 The electric power is fed directly into the power grid.
11 The heat generated can be utilised to heat building or to dry wood or harvest products.
12 Processing of biogas
13 Gas supply to the national grid or gas filling stations
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Joseph, D. (2018). Design of a Biogas Plant. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Joseph, David "Design of a Biogas Plant" Afribary. Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018, Accessed 26 May. 2024.


Joseph, David . "Design of a Biogas Plant". Afribary, Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018. Web. 26 May. 2024. < >.


Joseph, David . "Design of a Biogas Plant" Afribary (2018). Accessed May 26, 2024.