Prospects bright for Pak-China biogas cooperation

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There are bright prospects for Pak-China biogas cooperation, says a report published by China Economic Net (CEN) on Saturday.

According to the report, “Pakistani rural areas have huge biomass reserves, producing 12 million cubic meters of methane per day. But the realization of the full potential of biogas is slow and uptake is occurring at different rates depending on the available sources.

As a result, the biogas energy supply is generally very low compared with other sources of energy”, said Farooq Khurum Shehzad, a Ph.D. graduate in chemistry of the Beijing University of Chemical Technology and currently Assistant Professor of the University of Engineering and Technology, Multan.

It has been the second time for him to participate in the training workshop on biogas promotion and management organized by Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (BIOMA), China.

Twelve Pakistani people from universities, government official, research institutes, and enterprises took part in the workshop, an indication of expedited cooperation between the two countries on biogas technology.

“Biogas has not become the subject of interest to many because we have natural gas reserve and access to the world’s largest natural gas reserve in Qatar and Iran which is cheaper than biogas”, explained Farooq.

However, biogas has its irreplaceable advantages. Apart from being burned in boilers as natural gas, it can also produce electricity and heat and be used as fuel for vehicles and bio manure for crops after treatment.

Compared with natural gas which mainly comes from oil and coal mine exploration, biogas is a renewable resource with continuous production-and-use cycle, and it generates zero net carbon dioxide.

By consuming wastes and producing energy at the same time, it is acclaimed as “the only zero-carbon fuel in real sense of all renewable sources”. Pakistan has over 5000 installed biogas plants across the country which save an average of PKR 455 million annually in terms of kerosene oil, wood, liquefied petroleum gas and bio-fertilizer.

“But the cost of biogas technology nearly doubles that of natural gas. While the monthly fee of natural gas per household is about RMB 10-25, that of biogas may reach RMB 50-65”, Farooq said.

 

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