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Currently, the production and use of biogas is ruled under biofuels law no. 26.093, decree 109 year 2007. Even though such law is very active when dealing with biodiesel and ethanol, demand for biogas in Argentina is too low and sanctions that directly apply to its production and use have not yet been defined.
Table I presents several current and future methane recovery and biogas projects. Only one out of four landfills that use methane recovery methods actually generates electricity form it, and this is not even on a daily basis. Those facilities that operate anaerobic digesters around the country use biogas mostly for auto consumption as heating, electricity, and cooking gas helping them reduce their costs and solve some of their contaminating waste problems. Although Argentina has the second largest GNC vehicle fleet in the world and uses primarily NG for cooking and heating, there are no projects to produce and inject biogas to supply the national natural gas grid.

Table I
Type of industry
System/ Type of waste
Currently operating/ use of biogas

Complejo Ambiental Villa Dominico
Horizontal and vertical methane recovery tubes/ 39,518,035tn urban solid waste (5.3 million tns in CO2 equivalent)
Yes/ open flare incineration
Complejo Ambiental Norte III
Horizontal and vertical methane recovery tubes/ 10,501,269tn urban solid waste (3 million tns in CO2 equivalent)
Yes/ open flare incineration
Complejo Ambiental Gonzalez Catan
Horizontal and vertical methane recovery tubes/ 11,466,328 urban solid waste (5.1 million tns in CO2 equivalent)
Yes/ open flare incineration
Complejo Ambiental Ensenada
Horizontal and vertical methane recovery tubes/ 4,185,110 urban solid waste (2.6 million tns in CO2 equivalent)
Yes/ open flare incineration
Complejo Ambiental Norte IIIa
Horizontal and vertical methane recovery tubes/ 11,000,000 urban solid waste (5.3 million tns in CO2 equivalent)
Yes/ open flare incineration and electric energy generation

Urban Solid Waste
Escuela Agrotecnica Particular Incorporada № 2.050 “Monsenor Zazpe”, Comuna de Emila -Prov. de Santa Fe
Horizontal displacement type/ urban organic waste
Yes/ operation of educational facility
Gobernador Crespo -Prov. de Santa Fe-
Anaerobic digester type “mezcla perfecta”/ solid organic waste
Yes/ heating and cooking
Humberto Primo -Prov. de Santa Fe-
Anaerobic digester type “mezcla perfecta”/ solid organic waste
No/ heating local public swimming pool
La Criolla -Prov. de Santa Fe-
Anaerobic digester type “mezcla perfecta”/ solid organic waste
No/ cooking fuel for the local school kitchen and geriatric facilities
Municipalidad de Navarro –Prov. de Buenos Aires-
Continuous flow/ solid organic waste
No/ heating and electricity; carbon credits
Relleno Sanitario Olavarria
Horizontal and vertical methane recovery tubes/ 145,000 actual urban solid waste; 80-90 tn daily reception (18 688 ton annual CO2 equivalent)
Yes/ open flare recovery, electricity generation under development
Treatment Plant for Industrial Waste Water/Sludge
Establecimientos San Ignacio S.A.
Ruta Nac. N° 11, Sauce Viejo, Santa Fe.
Pre-fabricated P.R.F.V. de 100 m3 Anaerobic digester/ industrial waste water/sludge
Yes/ recapture and storage of biogas
Compania Industrial Cervecera S.A.
Calchines 1401 - 3000 Santa Fe
“U.A.S.B.” (Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanked). 1.200 m3 / collection and treatment of waste water
Yes/ no use of biogas, waste water control
Dairy (cheese serum treatment plant)
SANCOR C.U.L.  –  Planta Industrial de Charlone (Prov. Bs. As.)
“U.A.S.B.”/ serum, dairy sludge

Yes/ storage and us of biogas for operation
Industrias Lacteas S.A.
Sarmiento  952, San Carlos Sud,  Santa Fe.
Anaerobic digester 300 m3/ dairy sludge
Yes/ no use of biogas, waste water control
Gelatin production plant
Leiner Snatafesina de Gelatinas S.A
Parque Industrial de
Sauce Viejo, Santa Fe
“U.A.S.B.” 1.300 m3/ dairy sludge
Yes/ n/k
Citrus Industry (Planta Citrusvil)
Provincia de Tucuman
Under construction/ biomass from citrus production
Under construction/ for auto consumption
Pork Production
Cabanas del Sol, Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires
Three anaerobic digesters total capacity of 2.250 m3/ pork manure
Yes/ heating and electricity
Chicken Farm
Anaerobic digesters/ chicken manure
Yes/ n/k
Chicken Farm (Planta de Faena de Granja Tres Arroyos)

Granja Tres Arroyos S.A., Capitán Sarmiento, Buenos Aires.
Methane recapturing methods currently in operation. Plans for an anaerobic digester under consideration/ waste water from slaughterhouse.
Yes/ already receiving MDL credits for methane recapture; plans for biogas use for heating/electricity under consideration

The Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development lists the following existing projects under their website with vey limited information:

Planta de Almidón Semino
Relleno sanitario Fachinal, Misiones (landfill).
Relleno Sanitario Norte III-B (landfill).
Centro de Disposición Final Puente Gallego, Rosario
Vertedero Las Heras, Mendoza (landfill).
Relleno Sanitario de Salta (landfill).


Even though the highly subsidized prices of electricity and NG may act as a major disincentive, there are several factors that will help stimulate growth and development of the biogas industry. Some of the most influential incentives are:
  • An archaic distribution system that has already caused black outs in 2008 and NG rationing during the cold winter of 2007 (see energy grid matrix annex I),
  • environmental remediation opportunities,
  • and lack of energy and NG supply in isolated rural areas.

Furthermore, considering that Argentina is characterized by a rich cattle industry, most potential for investment in biogas production exists in cattle ranches[1] (see table II for argentine cattle production). Although the renewable energy law allows private parties to inject alternative energy into the electrical and NG grid, the process for certification as an energy generating entity are so arduous, that up to date biogas is mostly utilized for direct use as heating and electricity, and to manage environmental pollution problems.

Table II Argentine Cattle Production 2007

2007 Yearly Production in heads
Source: SAGPyA


The main scope of biogas research is occurring in using animal waste and landfill gases as feedstock. Following is a list of several organizations and their programs encouraged such research:

National Institute of Agricultural Technology [Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA)]:
  • National Bioenegy Program (PNBioen): promotes the transformation of biomass into different forms of energy in the agricultural sector. They offer technical and consulting assistance to the private and public entities regarding the installation, production, and use of biogas among other fuels.
  • There is software available at their website to help evaluate the financial and technical potential for biogas production.
  • They have also developed several projects and manuals related to the production of biogas from agro industrial and agricultural waste.
  • INTA is the lead organizer of the “WORKSHOP BIOGAS ARGENTINA, June 16th-17th 2009.
  • They will publish a study on the state of the biogas industry in Argentina in collaboration with the EPA and PA Consulting.

Secretary of Energy:
  • Renewable Energies: in conjunction with the National Direction of Promotion, the Sub Secretary of Electric Energy (SSEE) has taken the responsibility of raising awareness and promoting the production and use of alternative energy by developing pilot projects around the country utilizing new technologies and incorporating the use of alternative energy into every day life.
  • Renewable Energy Project in the Rural Sector [El Proyecto de Energías Renovables en Mercados Rurales (PERMER)]: this project was designed to promote the production and use of alternative energy in those places unreachable by the national electric and natural gas grid. Among other things, it offers subsidies to the private and public sectors for the installation of equipment designed to generate alternative forms of energy.

Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development (Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable)
  • Sustainable Communities (Municipios Sustentables): the intentions of the program are to ensure the development of sustainable growth to better the quality of life in the community. Sections D), C), and F) of the program under compatible components promote the management of methane emissions by mandating:
    • the elimination of open and illegal dumps,
    • separation and recycling of garbage,
    • training and equipment update,
    • reduction in energy consumption and the inclusion of renewable and alternative energy, and
    • award of green credits for the industry sector.

  • National Project for the Remediation of Solid Urban Waste [Proyecto Nacional para la Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos Urbanos (PNGIRSU)]: this program was designed to solve public health hazards and environmental pollution caused by the mismanagement of dumps in Argentina though the implementation of the following sustainable solutions:
    • financing assistance for infrastructure costs of treatment plants and enclosed dumps,
    • assistance in designing and establishing social campaigns for  proper waste management,
    • and the promotion of waste reduction though educational campaigns.

Annex I

Variability on Available Energy Supply
Years 2008 and 2001
Proven petroleum reserves 1**
Proven NG reserves 1**
Petroleum exports 1
NG exports 1
Petroleum production 1
NG production 1
                 1 Secretary of Energy
          ** Proven reserves from 31/12/07 vs. 31/12/2001.
          Source: www.matrizenergetica.com.ar

  1. Daniel Alemán, Presidente PFI Energy & Ecology. Personal interview.
  2. eg- ingeniería, Eduardo S. Groppelli, President. Personal Interview. www.eg-ingenieria.com.ar
  3. “El Camino de la Biodigestion, Ambiente y tecnología socialmente apropiada,” Eduardo S.  Groppelli, Orlando A. Giampaoli. Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Sta. Fe, Argentina, 2001.
  4. Gabriel Blanco, Climate Change General Coordinator, Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable. Personal Interview.
  5. INTA:
·         Argentine Profile, Animal Waste Management Methane Emissions. http://www.inta.gov.ar/info/bioenergia/Biodigesti%C3%B3n%20de%20esti%C3%A9rcoles%20y%20purines%20de%20cerdo.pdf
  1. Matriz Energética, www.matrizenergetica.com.ar
  2. Miguel Iribarren, Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable. Personal Interview.
  3. Protocolo de Kyoto, tratamiento de gases en rellenos sanitarios. www.ceamse.gov.ar/kyoto/rellenosgases.html
  4. Proyecto Tres Arroyos, http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/DNV-CUK1200597832.94.
  5. Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable. www.ambiente.gov.ar
  6. Secretaria de Ganadería, Agricultura, Pesca y Ambiente.

[1] In spite of Argentina’s vast soya bean production, no till planting practices leaves little to no biomass residue for utilization as feedstock in the production of biogas.
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