Production of clean energy by anaerobic digestion of phytomass--New prospects for a global warming amelioration technology
Anaerobic digestion of animal dung generated combustible gas - this fact has been known since over 130 years and has been gainfully utilized in generating clean energy in the form of methane-rich 'biogas'. During 1970s it was found that aquatic weeds and other phytomass, if anaerobically digested, also produced similarly combustible 'bio' gas. It raised great hopes that anaerobic digestion of phytomass will also enable generation of biogas that too on a much larger scale than is possible with animal manure. This, it was hoped, would also provide a means for utilizing weeds, crop wastes, and biodegradable municipal solid waste which otherwise cause environmental pollution. It appeared to be a 'no lose' possibility; it was hoped that soon the problems of weeds (and other biosolid wastes) as well as energy shortage, would vanish. At that time there was little realization of the global warming (GW) potential of methane nor of the fact that natural degradation of phytomass in the environment is causing massive quantities of GW gas emission. Hence, at that time, the potential benefits from anaerobic digestion of phytomass were perceived only in terms of pollution control and energy generation. But four decades have since elapsed and there is still no economically viable technology with which weeds and phytowastes can be gainfully converted to energy. This paper takes a look at what has happened and why. It also points towards the possibility of success finally emerging on the horizon. It would, hopefully, give a fresh impetus to the entire field of biomethanation R&D because all 'methane capture' technologies also indirectly contribute to very significant reduction in global warming.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/600126/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/600126/bibliographic|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:14:y:2010:i:6:p:1653-1659. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.