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Biogas

Category: Alternative Fuels, Energy Supply

Biogas is a form of gas composed of hydrocarbons, typically a mixture of mostly methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas forms as a natural breakdown process of organic waste through bacteria. Sources of biogas include organic wastes such as food scraps, yard waste, and animal manure, though it can also be found in landfills and wastewater treatment plants. Once a reliable source has been procured, biogas can be used in natural gas boilers, with minor to no modifications. This process has become a popular option to reduce natural gas dependency. 

Benefits

  • Reduces dependence on natural gas.
  • Can reduce organic waste streams on campus.
  • Facilitates a push for creative ways to capture unused and damaging resource.

Challenges

  • Obtaining a scalable amount of quality pipeline biogas may not be available to purchase.
  • Requires a campus with pre-existing heating infrastructure that utilizes natural gas. 

Impacts

  • GHG Impact

    Large

    Rarely scalable to make a noticeable different. 

  • Economic Impact

    Neutral

  • Feasibility

    Difficult

    Finding a scalable amount and the right partnership with a biogas producer is difficult/lengthy process.

  • Timeline

    2-5 years

    Finding a source, building a partnership and building a pipelines is time consuming.

  • Maintenance

    Low / None

    Switching from natural gas to pipeline quality biogas does not require much more attention than standard campus facility operations. 

  • Publicity

    Hmm... Okay.

    Nearly invisible unless promoted.