As pressure increases for fuels that are clean burning, a lot of attention has turned to methane, the primary ingredient in natural gas, the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels. Nevertheless, burning fossil fuels of any kind, including methane, releases greenhouse gases, the principal suspect in global warming. In fact, methane itself is a powerful greenhouse gas.
So it’s easy to imagine the interest and potential involved in a form of methane that successfully addresses these environmental concerns. Bio-methane is derived from biogase, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced when organic matter decomposes in the absence of oxygen. Bio-methane can be generated from agricultural or other organic waste, but also from dedicated biomass crops. The benefit of bio-methane is that the carbon released during combustion is offset by the carbon absorbed during the growing process, greatly reducing carbon footprint. The advantage of using dedicated crops as a bio-methane source is the increased stability of supplies and costs.
Bio-methane, like fossil based methane, can be used for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. It can also be used as an environmentally friendly vehicle fuel, where it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 88% compared to gasoline, over and above the carbon absorption element.
On top of this promising new field is Viaspace, Inc., developers of Giant King Grass (GKG), an exceptionally fast growing proprietary hybrid grass that is arguably the most cost effective biomass source. GKG grows so quickly that it can be harvested every month, yielding 167 tons per acre. It can then be processed, without even drying, to generate biogas containing over 5,000 cubic feet of methane, a production rate that is 50% higher than, for example, elephant grass. In addition, the byproduct of the process is organic fertilizer, which can then be put directly back in the GKG fields to further enhance growth.
For additional information, visit the company’s website at www.ViaSpace.com, or the company’s Giant King Grass products site at www.ViaSpaceGreenEnergy.com
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