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Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has stated this week that the cost of on-farm technology for the generation of alternative energy sources is a challenge. He also said he was aware of the need to encourage the utilisation of farm manure as an alternative source of energy and pointed to the fact that he recognised the wider environmental benefits of using agricultural residues in the production of biogas/biomethane and in particular its role in the heat and transport sectors.
Recycling and waste management companies in California are now required to report waste disposal, organics and recycling data to the state’s waste management agency. AB 901 went into effect July 1, establishing the Recycling and Disposal Facility Reporting System law to require select businesses to report the types, quantities and destinations of materials that are disposed of, sold or transferred. The following businesses will be reporting directly to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) on a quarterly basis.
Following floor amendments, the New Jersey state legislature passed a one-of-a-kind food waste bill yesterday. The recent Senate amendment classifying incinerators as authorized recycling facilities – provided they utilize anaerobic digesters within four years – was included. The final version also eliminates a two-tiered enactment threshold, meaning all generators of 52 tons or more per year will be required to comply by Jan. 2020. The bill now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature or veto. New Jersey organics legislation (S1206/A3726) is poised for sudden potential passage on Thursday before state lawmakers break for the summer.
In Italy, oil and gas major Eni S.p.A. and the Region of Lombardy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Eni’s refinery in Sannazzaro de’ Burgondi. With a low-carbon future in mind, they will implement a joint, circular development process, leading to the study and definition of new industrial models for long-term sustainable growth. According to a statement, the agreement sets out the cornerstones of the collaboration: to safeguard natural resources by using them efficiently and sustainably; to promote the recovery, reuse, and extension of products’ useful life; to produce sustainable energy products, such as biofuels and biochemicals, and to promote biomass or waste products.
Earlier this week, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) laid out regulation to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)’s Tariff Guarantee by one year, moving the deadline from January 31, 2020, to January 31, 2021. A move welcomed by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) as it will enable the completion of additional biomethane plant projects but the government needs to focus on post-2021 policy so the anaerobic industry (AD) can plan ahead.
NYLVCEF’s and Energy Vision’s forum tackled the untapped potential of leveraging biogas as a green energy source. When food and yard waste are landfilled, those organic materials become a source of methane emissions contributing to global warming and climate change. But biogas—primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide—is produced from the breakdown of organic matter via anaerobic digestion (AD) and can be utilized as a sustainable renewable energy source.
Two new indices produced by United Kingdom-based consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft that measure the waste generation and recycling tendencies of 194 countries show that the United States is the world’s top waste producer. The report notes that 2.1 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are generated throughout the globe annually. Only 16 percent of this waste gets recycled. As part of the company’s Waste Generation Index (WGI) that captures per capita rates of waste production, U.S. citizens were found to produce 1,704 pounds per person of MSW.
Anaerobic bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen are adept at converting organic matter to hydrocarbons by biochemical reduction. Heat, pressure and anaerobes have made those conversions in the earth. That is how underground coal, crude oil and natural gas deposits — formed about 300 million years ago from the buried lush organic biogrowth — have been recently extracted and used for fuels and chemical feedstocks. This process began during the later Carboniferous period, when the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was much greater than it is today.
Recycling of food waste in Scotland has risen by more than 40% in recent years, according to Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS). Approximately 158,500 tonnes of household and commercial solid food waste was collected and processed in 2017, compared with 111,500 in 2013. Food waste that ends up in landfill rots and produces methane gas, one of the most damaging greenhouse gases driving climate change. The Scottish government has pledged to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2045. The additional increase in food waste sent for recycling (47,000 tonnes) has prevented the release of 41,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent being released into the atmosphere, according to ZWS, a government-funded body.
AAs governments around the world recognise the scale of the climate crisis and acknowledge the need for action to counter and mitigate the effects of rising temperatures, a new report, unveiled July 3, 2019, by the World Biogas Association (WBA) at the inaugural World Biogas Summit in Birmingham, UK, illustrates the contribution that this industry can make to meeting the Paris Agreement commitments, and its potential to become a key player in the development of a sustainable circular economy.