Biomethane is an eco-friendly non-fossil source of energy. Biomethane is normally produced from biogas, which is derived from organic matter such as sewage, landfill, food waste, or distillery waste. This makes biomethane a renewable source of energy.
Biomethane as a transport fuel
Shortage of conventional fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas and environmental degradation are major concerns worldwide. Production and use of renewable energy resources are likely to help overcome these issues. Biomethane, which is derived from biogas, can be used as vehicle fuel. Purified biomethane has the same properties as natural gas and it can function as a highly efficient and eco-friendly fuel for natural gas cars. Also, it can be injected into natural gas grids. Biomethane offers various environmental benefits when used as a transport fuel. It reduces the amount of CO2 emissions significantly. Biomethane is suitable for all engine types and all modes of transport. Biomethane has around 40 more octane numbers than gasoline fuel, which can overcome the issue of engine knocking. Increasing production of automobiles is projected to boost the demand for biomethane during the forecast period. Presently, more than 98,000 natural gas vehicles are running in Germany. Around 150 filling stations in the country offer 100% biomethane and more than 300 filling stations offer a mixture of biomethane and natural gas.
High initial investment and high installation and operating costs
The initial investment for establishing a biomethane plant is high. Certain countries provide financial assistance for construction of biomethane plants. However, financial assistance is also required for development and expansion of the plant. The process of procuring and storing feedstock is time-consuming and costly. Financial assistance is also required for collection, sorting, processing, supply, and distribution of feedstock; construction and operation of biomethane plants; and sale and distribution of biomethane. The output of biomethane needs to be sufficient and consistent to cover installation and operating costs.