The Big 3: Agricultural, Landfill, and Wastewater Biogas Measurement
Biogas flow meters are widely used to monitor gases from anaerobic digesters, landfill and agricultural/livestock digesters, and wastewater digesters.
The instrument’s wide turndown provides an accurate measurement of the fuel gas produced, and a built-in totalizing function facilitates environmental auditing procedures of greenhouse gas emissions for Title 40 CFR Part 98 Subpart JJ.
Biogas is produced when organic matter, such as sewage, manure or vegetable matter, decomposes in the absence of oxygen. This may take place in a landfill site or in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas. The biogas mixture is typically 70% methane and 30% carbon dioxide.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years, is more than 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and it's of growing environmental concern. Methane is also a primary constituent of natural gas and an important energy source. As a result, efforts to utilize methane emissions can provide significant energy, economic and environmental benefits.
Landfills are the largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 34% of all methane emissions. Biogas flow meters are widely used in many landfill, wastewater and sewage treatment applications, including:
- Digester gas flow monitoring
- Chlorine gas flow monitoring
- Sample flow for gas chromatography
Methane is also produced during the anaerobic decomposition of organic material in livestock manure management systems. Liquid manure management systems, such as lagoons and holding tanks, can produce significant amounts of methane. Many large swine and dairy operations are turning manure into a valuable resource by substituting biogas for natural gas or propane as fuel for boilers and electrical generators.
Farmers are also capturing methane from anaerobic digesters and monetizing the resulting carbon credits through greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading systems. Biogas flow meters help these farmers measure the methane for reporting purposes.
For more information on wastewater biogas, visit our Wastewater Biogas page.
Gas-SelectX® for Biogas Flow Measurement
For complex calibrations based on gas composition analyses, all Fox Thermal flow meters are the ideal candidates with NIST-traceable calibrations. For gas mixes that tend to change gas composition over time, you'll need a more flexible solution to keep your process running. Models FT1, FT4A, and FT4X are versatile flow meters that can be programmed in the field using Gas-SelectX®. As the gas composition changes, simply access the gas composition settings in Gas-SelectX® to reprogram the percentages of component gases and avoid sending the flow meter back to the factory to be recalibrated. Keeping your process running with a flexible and accurate biogas flow meter from Fox Thermal will help you make downtime a thing of the past. See our Fox Thermal Product Comparison for more specific information on how a Fox Thermal flow meter can work for your application.
Read more about biogas applications.
If you’re not sure which meter is right for your biogas application, use our Help Me Choose app to find the ideal meter or contact us today!