Environmental Benefits of Biomethane

Green World

Biomethane is one of a few alternative sources of energy which are not only renewable but are also environmentally friendly. It is not 100% greenhouse-gas-free, however, it does not contribute to global warming. On the contrary, it helps fight it.

Here are only a few of many environment benefits of biomethane:

  1. Reduced need for fossil fuels. Biomethane is identical to fossil fuel derived methane or natural gas and can be used to substitute natural gas and in large extent, oil and coal as well. Burning biomethane for electricity generation, heat production or fuel emits carbon dioxide and some other greenhouse gases as well but it does not increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. This is due to the fact that the same amount of carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere if organic matter (from which biomethane is produced) would simply be left to decompose naturally.

  2. Lower water, soil and air pollution. The use of biomethane lowers water, soil and air pollution not only because it eliminates fossil fuel related pollution and the risk of potentially devastating accidents. Biomethane also reduces the risk of contamination and pollution of water, soil and air by organic matter. Theoretically, organic matter cannot harm the environment, however, release of large quantities of slurry into a river or stream for instance can cause serious damage to the environment.

  3. Preservation of forests. Firewood remains the leading source of heat in most parts of the world. The use of wood for heating is not problematic as long as it comes from sustainably managed forests but unfortunately, it often does not. In addition, the population growth puts an increased pressure on natural resources which threatens ecosystems and biodiversity, while uncontrolled logging dangerously raises carbon dioxide emissions. Since the trees absorb the harmful greenhouse gas, its concentration in the atmosphere increases with each fallen tree. Purchase recycled and reclaimed wooden products which do not use freshly felled trees. As an alternative source of both heat and electricity, biomethane helps preserve forests and biodiversity.

  4. Reduced emission of greenhouse gases. One of the greatest environmental benefits of biomethane is without a doubt its effect on the Earth’s atmosphere. Unlike the conventional sources of energy, the use of biomethane does not increase the concentration of greenhouse gases because carbon dioxide and other gases that create the greenhouse effect are released into the atmosphere anyway during the decomposition process of organic matter. In other words, biomethane is one of the best ways to satisfy the increased need for energy without contributing to warming of the planet which threatens all living species including humans.

  5. Minimal intervention into nature. Production of biomethane requires the so-called digester tanks and often also storage facilities. But other than perhaps visually affecting the landscape, production of biomethane has no harmful effects on nature and local ecosystems. Biogas plants require a minimal intervention into nature which cannot be claimed for coal mining, oil and natural gas extraction, and even some renewable sources of energy.