An old English proverb says, "Don't let the grass grow under your feet." However, the energy company Ecotricity strongly disagrees with it, which recently announced plans to extract methane from grass growing on orphan lands. The authors of the idea hope that one day 97% of British homes will switch to this type of alternative energy.
But for all the attractiveness of biofuels, its production is associated with certain technological problems. For example, animal waste is very effective, but how can you collect it in sufficient quantity?
Used vegetable oil is another option, but where can you find so many restaurants and eateries that could support the industrial production of biofuels?
The idea behind Ecotricity is to turn grass into methane, just like cows do, but without their "mediation". For the cultivation of grass, it is proposed to use lands that are of little use for agriculture. The harvested crop is transported to the so-called "green gas mills", where it is converted into silage.
However, instead of being eaten, the silage is placed in special vats, in which special bacteria absorb the plant mass in an oxygen-free environment with the release of gas. This process is called anaerobic digestion. It differs from the natural process in the body of animals by its incomparably large scale and the possibility of subsequent purification from CO 2 and other impurities.
The purified methane can then be fed directly to municipal gas pipelines.