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In 1776 the Italian physicist and nature scientist Alessandro Volta discovered the appearance of methane
at the anaerobic degradation of organic matter by connecting marsh gas in the mud of lakes and making
combustion experiments.
In 1821 the English physicist Michael Faraday identified methane as hydrocarbon. At the same time
Amadeo Avogadro discovered the chemical structure of methane (CH4).
In 1884 the French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur made experiments with biogas, which he built from horse dung.
At the end of the 19th century the biogas made of horse dung of the horse fleet was used for biogas production.
The gas was used for streetlights.


A few years ago the technology of biogas production started to become more interesting for the free and private economy
and even the politics.
There are a lot of well known car manufacturer who are building cars powered by gas engines.
The governments of the European union (EU), especially of Austria, Germany and Denmark, passed bills a
few years ago to convey biogas plants specifically. The law in Austria is called "The Eco Electricity Act".
At the end of the year 2006 there were 298 biogas plants in Austria, the smallest have 70 kWh (kilowatt hour)
electrical connection power, the tallest 500 kWh.
In 2009 a biogas plant with an electrical connection power of 1000 kWh (1MW) went online in Italy, in Germany
biogas plants with an connection power of more than 1 MW are planned.


As the name suggests, "bio"-gas is the result of a biological process. The anaerobic gas mixture called biogas evolves from organic.
Biogas is a CO2-neutral, renewable energy carrier, where power can be obtained in the form of electricity,
heat or fuel. It is not the actual energy carrier, it is biomass, thus a renewable primary product.
Plants gather CO2 at their growing at the principle of photo synthesis and deliver oxygen.
This process happens in nature, for example in bogs, at the ground of lakes, in the slurry dump
and in the rumen of ruminant animals. There the organic mass is nearly completely converted into biogas.
There are only marginal parts of new biomass or heat.

Charge materials for the production of biogas are:
• Farm fertilizer: cattle- and pig slurry, poultry manure;
• Renewable vegetable raw materials: corn- and grass silage, sugar beet
• Substratum of processing agriculture: mash, marc, draff, blackstrap molasses, fresh pulp;
• Other decreases: leftovers, gastric content, fat from fat separator, sludge, lop;

The quality and the amount of biogas is varying due to the mixture of the used substratum and its quality.
The built gas mixture consists of about two thirds of methane (CH4) and about one third of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Aside little amounts of Hydrogen (H2), hydrosulfide (H2S), ammoniac (NH3) and other hints of other gasses are arranged.
There are also little amounts of volatile fatty acids and alcohols.

The ordinary mixture of biogas is shown in Figure 1.

Properties of biogas are shown in Figure 2.

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