Methane capturing technology involves sealing organic waste in tanks where the methane is generated anaerobically. “This can be upgraded to about 97% methane, the same concentration as in natural gas,” (New York Times). In a 15-year period, one methane power plant is estimated to prevent 19,000 tons of methane emissions and produce 60,000 MWh.
Methane is burned and the heat is converted into pressure, which is in turn converted into mechanical energy that drives a generator. Magnets in the generator force electrons through a wire, thus converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. Like any combustion-based power generation system, the energy in methane is harnessed when breaking bonds between the carbon and hydrogen bonds releases heat. If you compare these two diagrams of a methane power generation system and a coal generation system, you will see that they are very similar.
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