Bioenergy

Biomethane Looks Promising for 2007

Biomethane, the focus of the January issue of Fleets & Fuels newsletter, is reported as promising as a viable renewable energy market. Since biomethane is made from waste — from animals, crops and municipal sewage — its production involves no diversion of foodstuffs, unlike liquid biofuels.

“Biomethane is fast proving itself in Europe, and entrepreneurs and policymakers in the United States are becoming aware of it too,” said Rich Piellisch, editor at Fleets & Fuels. Production costs of biomethane are not affected by world energy market swings, plus it can be injected into existing natural gas pipelines, and drawn from the pipeline network for vehicle use or any other natural gas application. It can also be processed into compressed natural gas (CNG) for natural gas vehicles or the more energy-dense liquefied natural gas (LNG). Biomethane is most commonly made via anaerobic digestion of organic biomass material. Thermal gasification of cellulosic (woody) material is emerging as a viable production route too, with production efficiencies shown to be far better than those of liquid biofuels.