Considering the growing concern for the development of suitable renewable resources of energy, in view of the global energy crisis, it is considered practical to opt for the generation of methane out of all biomaterial including distillery effluent. The methane gas obtained could be used either as a fuel gas or as a raw material for the petrochemical industry.
Some of its characteristics are enumerated below: Methane Gas as Fuel:1. It is a non-knocking fuel with a very high compression ratio. 2. It is a clean engine fuel. 3.
It has the advantage of getting well distributed in the internal engine and shows no tendency to dilute the lubricating oil. 4. It burns with a non-luminous flame in air, forming carbon dioxide and water.
5. It emits an exhaust gas with extremely low carbon monoxide content. Methane Gas as a Raw Material for Petrochemical Industry:1. It can be used in the production of ammonia and urea (used as fertilizers). 2. It is used in the formation of valuable derivatives, viz.
, methyl chloride, methyl dichloride, chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. 3. It can be used in the production of methanol.
4. It can be used in the preparation of carbon black. 5.
It can be used as a source of hydrogen for synthesis gas (manufacture of petrol). Anaerobic Treatment of Distillery Effluent:Anaerobic treatment of distillery effluent is a biochemical process, caused by the facultative and anaerobic group of bacteria which converts the organic substance into volatile acid and methanogenic bacteria, and, then, converts the volatile acid into carbon dioxide and methane. Methanogenic bacteria are strictly anaerobes. They thrive best when the pH is close to neutral but fail to thrive at pH 6. The methane bacteria are heterogenous in cellular morphology- some are rods, others cocci, and others in clusters of cocci known as sarcina.