FREMONT, CA: The most commonly used biochemical technologies are anaerobic digestion (or biomethanation) and fermentation. The anaerobic digestion is a series of chemical reactions in which organic material is decomposed from the metabolic pathways of naturally appearing microorganisms in an oxygen-depleted environment. The biomass wastes can also yield liquid fuels, like cellulosic ethanol, which can be used to replace petroleum-based fuels.
Anaerobic digestion is the natural biological process that stabilizes organic waste in the absence of air and changes it into biofertilization and biogas. Anaerobic digestion is a reliable technology for treating wet, organic waste. The organic waste produced from various sources is biochemically degraded in highly controlled, oxygen-free conditions; these circumstances result in the production of biogas, which can be used to produce electricity and heat. Biomass conversion technologies are slowly being constructed for home boilers also.
The two outputs biogas and digestate produced by an anaerobic digestion plant can be further processed or utilized to produce secondary outputs. Biogas can be utilized for producing electricity and heat, as a natural gas substitute and also a transportation fuel. The combined heat and power plant system (CHP) generates power and produces heat for in-house requirements to maintain the needed temperature in the digester during the cold season. Digestate can further be processed to produce liquor and fibrous material.
A range of fuels, including liquid fuels, like ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and gaseous fuels, like hydrogen and methane, can be produced from waste resources. The resource base for biofuel production is derived from a wide range of forestry and agricultural resources, municipal solid, industrial processing residues, and urban wood residues. Biofuels are generally used to power vehicles, heat homes, and for cooking, apart from powering home boilers throughout the world.
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