chapter  8
22 Pages

Methane from Human, Animal and Agricultural Wastes

WithRaymond C. Loehr

In considering alternatives to meet the energy needs in developing countries, there are several key items that should be recognized and achieved. Although there is no "ideal" technology that can meet all of the above goals, methane generation is a waste management technology that comes close to achieving many of the goals. The interest in non-fossil fuel energy supplies has focused increasing attention on the production of methane from the anaerobic fermentation or digestion of organic matter such as wastes since methane is a high energy by-product. The production of methane from wastes is centuries old and the general technology is well known. The quantity and composition of the gases produced during anaerobic digestion are a function of the fraction of the total waste that is available to the anaerobic bacteria, i.e., the biodegradable fraction, and the operating environmental conditions of the process.