The existence of micro-organism is at the basis of the fermentation process, as demonstrated by Louis Pasteur in 1855. Pasteur’s discovery finally introduced the use of micro-organism in the technical systems of the fermentation industry. The term fermentation was coined. Towards the 20th century, were built the first plant to discharge organic water in certain cities such as Berlin, Munich or Paris.
In 1922, in Germany biogas starts to be used, reproducing on a technical scale the knowledge about the formation of organic methane. The result were stacks of waste to be used in purification plants. Until 1937, many cities used these areas to produce biogas. At the beginning of the 50s, the production of biogas by some German agricultural farms, went through, even if for short, a flourish period. Approximately 20 plants were working with more than 40 dairy cattles. When in the 50s oil became available at lower costs on the market, biogas plants went into oblivion.
Only after the 70s oil crisis, the interest towards biogas arose again. In 1983 around 15 firms introduced into their production biogas plants. This led to the start of more than 100 plants in Germany. A never interrupted biogas production in the purification plant from the 30s, led to an innovation in this field so that today many purification plants produce the necessary energy needed for this process in this way. The number of agricultural plants also started to grow uninterruptedly.
The production of energy from renewable sources is a key factor to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. The use of biomass as energy source, has the fundamental advantage to produce energy with CO2 neutral, since it is released only the positive part of carbon monoxide, that, before this discovery, was taken away from the atmosphere.