Biogas Production: Avoid Failure by Using the Correct Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio

To produce biogas, you need organic matters like animal manure, animal wastes and plant matters. These organic matters added to the biogas digester are called feedstock. Every organic matter has a carbon-nitrogen (C/N) ratio. For proper biogas production, the C/N ratio of the feedstock mix should be between 20 and 30. Micro-organisms in the biogas digester feed on carbon (as carbohydrates) and nitrogen (as protein, nitrates, ammonia, etc.) to produce biogas. They use carbon as an energy source and nitrogen for building cell structures. These organisms use up carbon about 30 times faster than they use nitrogen so they require a carbon-nitrogen ratio closer to 30. Let’s look at what happens if your feedstock mix does not meet this ratio.

C/N Ratio too Low (Too much nitrogen): If there is too much nitrogen, the carbon will be exhausted first and biogas production will stop. The remaining nitrogen will be lost
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