Technology

How biogas technology works

Process

Biogas refers to the mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter through anaerobic digestion in an oxygen-free enclosure. The gas can be produced from a range of raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green cuttings or food waste. Sucropower specialise in biogas from cane waste – discarded cane tops, leaves and “Kashle”.

Biogas production can be achieved using powerplants of varying scale; small 30 KW off-grid plants supplying local needs to gigantic centralized energy parks providing gas and electric power supply to the national grid. At present Sucropower are involved in the development of plants using sugarcane residue and waste “Kahle” cane to produce energy in the 15 KW to 200 KW range.

Diagram illustrating a typical biogas plant

Components

Biogas plant in Germany

Biogas plants typically consist of:

  • biomass supply systems
  • hermetically sealed digesters
  • heating units
  • mixing devices
  • biological canalisations
  • air, gas and electric systems
Biogas plant with the biomass supply system visible in the foreground

Efficiency

Quote Sugarcane … has the highest energy-to-volume ratio among energy crops”
– International Sugar Organization

According to the International Sugar Organization (ISO), Sugarcane is a highly efficient converter of solar energy, and has the highest energy-to-volume ratio among energy crops. In short, it yields the highest annual biomass volume of all plant species. Roughly 1 ton of sugarcane biomass has an energy content equivalent to one barrel of crude oil – all components, namely bagasse, foliage and ethanol output included.(www.bioenergyconsult.com/tag/sugarcane-wastes)