Lesson 1.

        Energy is required in various forms to do useful work. It is also required for the continual improvement in the living standard of many societies. With the falling price of oil and high cost of energy generation, energy generation from waste materials is a must as waste can give us useful products like methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases for electricity generation, as automechanics and airplane fuel, cooking, air conditioning, refrigerating, food processing and fire extinguishing gases will enhance industrial progress, reduce unemployment, improve national security, enhance financial stability, reduce environmental degradation, reduce rural-urban migration, increase per capital income and decentralize energy path thereby increasing generated revenue.

Renewable energy biotechnologies such as biomass - the concept of this course, will provide a real alternative for grid extention in many locations. This tool can also be used in hybrid confriguration where two or more technologies are combined to take advantage of the best characterisation of each power and product system.

However, introduction of recent developments and applications such as combustion, gasification, fermentation, and anaerobic digestion will find very ready utilization in our societies. With fair cost of implementation the specific units have good prospects' for industries, agriculture and domestic functioning.


Methane is a chemical compound composed of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. It is one of the most common gases in the universe. While it is valued for its energy-production capability, methane also as the ability to potentially wreak havoc on Earth’s fragile eco-systems. Therefore, the gas has properties that are both good and bad.

Methane is odourless and colourless.

Wetlands and ocean are where most of the earth’s natural methane is produce. Thus, the gas is sometimes called swamp gas. Approximately 40 percent of the world’s methane is produced through this areas.

However, half the world’s methane comes from human sources, such as burning fuel and raising livestock. Each is roughly equal in their methane contributions.

Interestingly, some plants and animals produce methane through aerobic processes and others do not.

Methane used as energy comes mainly in the form of natural gas. It is taken out of the earth’s crust from huge natural stores called natural gas fields. Once extracted, it may be transported by container or by pipeline to other areas around the globe.

While methane, in and of itself, is considered a harmless gas, scientists have listed it as a very potent greenhouse gas and it may have a major role in global warming. Given this consideration, many are seeking ways to limit methane emissions. These emissions have doubled since the industrial revolution more than 100 years ago and many scientist believe there is a direct correlation between the increase and global temperatures.


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  1. Domestic waste materials
  2. Sewage treatment plants
  3. Ruminants Rumen ecosystem: Example include cattle, deer, elk, bison, water buffalo, camels, sheep, goats, girraffes, and caribou. In fact, a single cow can produce as much as 200 to 400 litres of methane gas per day. The animal releases methane by a process called eructation (to belch).
  4. Rice paddies
  5. Coal mines
  6. Soil termites. Termites occur on 2/3 of the earth's land surface and based on laboratory studies, 0.77% of the carbon ingested by termites can be released as methane. In tropical wet savannas and cultivated areas, termite populations are increasing rapidly.
  7. Carbon cycle

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