Biogas is produced after organic materials (plant and animal products) are broken down by bacteria in an oxygen-free environment, a process called anaerobic digestion. Biogas systems use anaerobic digestion to recycle these organic materials, turning them into biogas, which contains both energy (gas), and valuable soil products (liquids and solids).
Anaerobic digestion already occurs in nature, landfills, and some livestock manure management systems, but can be optimized, controlled, and contained using an anaerobic digester. Biogas contains roughly 50-70 percent methane, 30-40 percent carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. The liquid and solid digested material, called digestate, is frequently used as a soil amendment.
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