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Biogas as an Alternative Form of Electricity Essay

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Updated: Jul 17th, 2022

Do you think two kilograms is a lot? Of course, the answer to this question requires us to clarify. Two kilos of meat seems excessive, but each of us would like to have at least two kilos of gold or diamonds. Unfortunately, today you and I are not going to be talking about precious materials but trash. Every day, the average American produces more than two pounds of organic trash (Leahy, 2018). To better understand this scale, let us assume that this garbage could be recycled into energy. Now, such recycling would provide total electricity for a family of three Americans (Food waste greenhouse, n.d.).

In this scenario, we would no longer depend on nuclear reactors or energy-intensive power plants: our garbage would power our homes. In fact, such a way already exists: it is biogas. Using biogas technology would allow humankind to reduce our carbon footprint and harm nature significantly. In addition, it would save us about a hundred dollars every month (Wong, 2020). So we all have a vested interest in the development of biogas technology. In today’s speech, I will not only tell you about the technical basis of biogas, but I will also tell you why all households should switch to this form of energy supply in the next decade. Nevertheless, first of all, why is it important to talk about this in the first place?

In fact, the Earth is already choking on that garbage. Of the total garbage generated, only one-third is recycled, and the rest is not properly disposed of (Hallman, n.d.). Imagine that out of ten bananas you buy at home, and only three skins will go into the trash can. The rest of the waste will be scattered all over the rooms so that you will not be able to find an empty spot on the floor after a month. Let us not forget that such deposits have adverse effects. Short-term effects include extreme increases in ammonia and hydrogen sulfide levels near the dump (What are the adverse effects, n.d.).

These entail the development of coughs, asthma, and pneumonia in local residents. In the long run, on the other hand, landfills degrade groundwater quality, disrupt the environment, and harm the entire biosphere (Przydatek & Kanownik, 2019). We can expect that in the absence of concrete measures to eliminate landfills, the entire world will drown in excessive amounts of waste, causing murderous harm to everything around it. In the U.S. alone, more than two thousand active landfills are filling every state and dragging America into a garbage pit (Peters, 2016). Biogas becomes the revolutionary solution that solves all of these problems and saves money.

Instead of burying garbage hopelessly, everyone should come up with the idea of biogas recycling. Biogas plants are actually machines that use organic garbage as raw material and produce a considerable amount of electricity as a product (Bharathiraja et al., 2018). The conveyor belt is the best illustration of what happens with such installations. Food waste, agricultural garbage, organic debris, and even corpses: are all converted into biogas by bacteria. The resulting mixture of gases is then combusted, which produces up to 6 kWh of energy from a cubic meter of waste (How much energy, n.d.). This is about the same as what natural coal can provide (Hofstrand, 2014). Thus, the trash that used to be simply tossed into the ground turns out to be precious fuel.

If you thought that was the only advantage of biogas, you are very wrong. Once all the gases have been isolated from the organic garbage, a dry, highly concentrated mixture will be left. This substance is an excellent fertilizer that can be sent to farmland (Use of bio-slurry, n.d.). In addition, this residue allows for active carbon sequestration in the soil, reducing the carbon footprint. Thus, the use of biogas plants has three positive effects at once. Recall, that it allows recycling garbage, getting electric power, and generating high-efficiency fertilizer. However, is all this important?

Maybe humanity should not chase fashionable environmental trends and instead just relax? We can do that, but if we do, we must be prepared for the consequences. The amount of trash generated per day is projected to increase by 315 percent by the year 2100 (Stromberg, 2013). In other words, every day, you will consume not ten but thirty bananas, 21 of which will litter your room. In that case, your floor will lose all of its empty spots after ten days, not thirty. The same change would happen to the Earth: humanity would not be able to cope with so much littering and would probably eventually die. So what can be done to prevent such a crisis?

Already now you can help the whole world to improve the ecological situation. To do this, each of the people must come to understand the monstrous consequences that await the Earth in 100, 10, and even one year. The amount of garbage will only increase, but it is in our power to control it. Create a public petition, circulate it to all your friends, and openly declare the need for peaceful trash revolutions. That is the only way the government and society can come to understand the urgent need to take action.

Hence today, we have discussed a critical problem on the environmental spectrum, namely trash. It is unlikely that the amount of garbage will ever decrease, but humanity must put all its resources into changing the agenda. Biogas plants are a great strategy to solve three problems at once. Biogas utilizes organic waste, generates electricity, and produces high-quality fertilizer. The use of such stations will qualitatively change our lives and increase our environmental security.

References

Bharathiraja, B., Sudharsana, T., Jayamuthunagai, J., Praveenkumar, R., Chozhavendhan, S., & Iyyappan, J. (2018). Biogas production – a review on composition, fuel properties, feedstock and principles of anaerobic digestion. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 90, 570-582.

. (n.d.). Watch my Waste. Web.

Hallman, C. (n.d.). . TitleMax. Web.

Hofstrand, D. (2014). . ISU. Web.

How much energy is there in biogas? (n.d.). AQPER. Web.

Leahy, S. (2018). National Geographic. Web.

Peters, A. (2016). . Fast Company. Web.

Przydatek, G., & Kanownik, W. (2019). Impact of small municipal solid waste landfill on groundwater quality. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191(3), 1-14.

. (n.d.). GS. Web.

Stromberg, J. (2013). Smithsonian Magazine. Web.

(n.d.). SL Recycling. Web.

Wong, P. (2020). The average monthly electricity bill for U.S. residential customers declined in 2019. EIA. Web.

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