Are biodigesters safe?

Biodigesters are safe. Globally, there are over 30 million small-scale biodigesters, with India and China leading the way. Biogas technology was developed over 100 years ago, and is low-tech, safe and easy to use. The most important safety measure you can take is to ensure that your digester stays filled with water, to keep the system oxygen-free.

Biogas, the gas produced, is the same gas that travels through neighborhood pipelines as methane, aka “natural gas”. The difference between biogas and “natural gas” is that natural gas typically comes from hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) or as a byproduct of petroleum distillation. Biogas comes from the breakdown of organic waste, like kitchen scraps and pet waste.

Another key difference between biogas and so-called natural gas is that biogas is not pressurized. Non-pressurized methane has a significantly lower risk of explosion than pressurized gas. Biogas is typically stored at just over 1 atmosphere of pressure, whereas natural gas in pipelines is stored at between 33-93 atmospheres of pressure.

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