« BackNews: Agricultural Biogas More Beneficial To Climate Than Thought

Agricultural Biogas More Beneficial To Climate Than Thought


A recent study conducted by Aarhus University on behalf of the Danish Energy Agency has revealed that the climate effect of biogas generated by the agricultural sector is much greater than previously considered.

According to Bioenergy Insight, previous studies and analyses have shown that biogas production can provide a number of benefits to the environment and the climate. The Aarhus University reportclosely examines the climatic and environmental effects of degassing different biomass compositions.

The Aarhus report contains several updated results for the effects of biogas production, as well as providing a description and quantification of all the relevant environmental and climate effects from the production.

This includes energy production, greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen leaching, ammonia evaporation, nutrient utilisation, and odour nuisance from the application. The report looks at the effects of five biomass compositions.

The report concludes that there is an overall environmental and climate benefit from degassing. With a residence time longer than 45 days, the gain from biogas increases only marginally. The effect depends, in particular, on the amount of highly metabolisable organic material in the biomass composition, according to the study.

The report also discovered that methane emissions from cow manure are higher than previously calculated, while the emission from pig manure is lower. This means there is potential for greater reduction in methane from allowing cattle manure to be degassed, in particular, and that the climate effect of biogas in the agricultural sector is greater than previously assumed.

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