biogas

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biogas A mixture of methane and carbon dioxide resulting from the anaerobic decomposition of such waste materials as domestic, industrial, and agricultural sewage. The decomposition is carried out by methanogenic bacteria (see methanogen); these obligate anaerobes produce methane, the main component of biogas, which can be collected and used as an energy source for domestic processes, such as heating, cooking, and lighting. The production of biogas is carried out in special digesters, which are widely used in China and India. As well as providing a source of fuel, these systems also enable sewage, which contains pathogenic bacteria, to be digested, thereby removing the danger to humans that could otherwise result from untreated domestic and agricultural waste.

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bi·o·gas / ˈbīōˌgas/ • n. gaseous fuel, esp. methane, produced by the fermentation of organic matter.