Is Biogas a Viable Replacement for Diesel?
The prospect of a cost-effective, renewable fuel source is a tantalizing thought. The idea of taking refuse and turning it into gold isn’t alchemy; it’s science. And, it is being done all over the world. Today, more than 50 million homes in China are powered by biogas, and more plants are coming on line all over the world. It is not a new concept, but it is getting renewed attention as global events and strained supply chains make traditional fuel sources ever costlier.
In the United States, biogas is beginning to gain a solid foothold across the country. To date, there are roughly 2,200 operational biogas production facilities sprinkled throughout all fifty states. These facilities include anaerobic digestion sites, landfills, and water resource recovery facilities. Current estimates of future growth are astounding, with forecasters predicting that in the not too distant future these facilities will be capable of delivering nearly 103 trillion kW hours per year.
…But, it’s not an entirely golden opportunity
The fact is that the biogas industry is still evolving and there are many challenges to overcome. First, distribution and availability is spotty and not as reliable as diesel, natural gas, and other traditional fuels. For businesses, this makes biogas less appealing because it can mean significant disruptions in production.
Additionally, production facilities remain small and are not capable of producing the vast quantities of biogas required to replace diesel, natural gas, etc. And, the investment going into the industry is paltry compared to what’s needed.
Further, and of greater importance to end users is that biogas contains higher quantities of impurities than diesel or natural gas. This means that running biogas through your standby generator systems could cause damage that could far outweigh any savings. Quality varies significantly from producer to producer, and it’s not unheard of for poor-quality biogas to cause corrosion within standby generator systems.
And, there is always the weather. Biogas production is highly dependent on temperature. If it gets too hot, or too cold, then digester systems won’t operate properly and production goes down. This means that your business could find itself short on biofuel if there is a weather event thousands of miles away.
Is biogas right for you?
Not at all, but it is one of those where you want to look before you leap. Choosing dual fuel standby generation equipment, and purchasing fuel from trusted suppliers with an established supply chain is the right way to go. The more research you do on nearby biogas suppliers, the more you’ll know which ones have the capabilities to keep your standby generation systems operational and in good repair.
Contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 to learn more about biogas systems and the potential these systems have to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere and reduce your environmental footprint.