Application of Biogas Technologies to Mexico

Application of Biogas Technologies to Mexico

Researcher: Enrique Abraham Chan Gutierrez

T: 353 894 303834


Funding Body: Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT)

Programme:   Application of Biogas Technologies to Mexico

Project Type: PhD

Period: Jan 2014 – Dec 2017

Project Description:

Mexico is the 10th largest oil producer in the world. The energy market in Mexico is dominated by fossil fuels; in 2012, 88.54% of primary energy production (8,034 PJ) was derived from hydrocarbons. According to SENER (National Energy Secretariat) in 2012, in Mexico, 6.85% of the primary energy sources were renewable (621 PJ). This percentage of renewables is set to increase as documented by the federal government. By 2027, the total installed capacity of renewable electricity should be 21 GWe, which should provide approximately 20% of energy consumption in electricity. Biomass and biogas are forecast to produce 7.3 PJ of electricity by 2027; There is however no proposal to produce biomass and biogas for transport.

Biogas is a gas consisted of typically 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide. It is produced naturally due to the activity of anaerobic bacteria that break down organic matter. Biogas can be obtained using engineering designed anaerobic digesters.

Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technology, and it has been widely used in wastewater treatment plants.  Biogas is an energy source that can be used as a substitute for natural gas once it is upgraded to biomethane. Biogas technologies are used widely used in Europe. Biomethane has been used as a transport fuel in countries like Germany, Sweden and Finland since the 20th century.

Unlike Ireland and the European countries, the Mexican government has not set targets regarding renewable energy production and use.

The aim of this study is to assess the energy potential of biodegradable residues and wastes for biogas production in Mexico, focusing on the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and pig slurries.

The main objectives are to:

  • Estimate the biomass resources of municipal solid waste and pig manure in Mexico;
  • Estimate the biogas potential of these two feedstocks;
  • Assess how much energy can be obtained if all of these biogas sources are digested;
  • Assess how much natural gas could be substituted in Mexico;
  • Assess the feasibility of a biogas plant for the treatment of OFMSW in a Mexican city;
  • Assess the feasibility of a co-digestion plant of OFMSW and pig slurry.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork