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View Diary: Cleaning Up Chesapeake Bay Through Potty Training (36 comments)

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  •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

    The methane gas produced [by anaerobic digesters] is used first to fuel the plant and, secondly to provide a means of producing electricity.

    The better and higher use is to produce a bio natural gas after fueling the digesters.  Takes some processing - scrubbing and condensing.

    How so?  Don't utilities just burn the gas to produce electricity?

    Whatever the case, whether through efficiency or monopoly power, the utilities get more for their juice.

    The U.S. has developed advanced technology over that employed by Europeans.  But we prefer to burn coal and pollute the environment with the manure.  Too much bother to do otherwise.  Besides organic is the in thing.

    Best,  Terry

    •  Not sure what you mean (0+ / 0-)

      Methane s "a bio natural gas", indeed it is THE biogas produced by anaerobic digestion.

      What it is possible to do is use most of the methane to produce electricity in a combined heat and power unit, using the "waste" heat in this case to warm up the slurry to the required temperature for digestion or to help dry out the solids.

      The electricity is far more portable than having to transport the gas to a utility. This would either have to be by pipeline (expensive and capital intensive) or, more likely, by road transport. Either way, the inefficiencies resulting would far outweigh the benefits of using a gas from a renewable source.

      •  Natural gas is quite different from the methane (0+ / 0-)

        that comes from digesters and landfills.

        The methane from both the latter is too "dirty" and needs to be condensed to approximate the natural gas from wells.

        The electricity is far more portable than having to transport the gas to a utility.

        The utility owns the line.  

        Best,  Terry

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