Biogas is obtained via the anaerobic decomposition of the organic matter. After the process of upgrading, biogas becomes biomethane with the same quality standard as natural gas and can be transported via the existing grid infrastructure. Biomethane contributes to the decarbonisation of the energy system.
Together with partners New Power Pack, the Jülich Research Centre and the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, OGE are building and testing a demonstration plant for the production of biomethane as part of the so-called BiRG project. In several steps, biogenic residues are converted into biogas that can be fed into the pipeline system. The plant is scheduled for commissioning in 2022
Hydrothermal gasification is a technology converting wet biomass and treating organic wastes and residues. It uses the water contained into the biomass as the reaction environment in its supercritical phase to produce a synthesis gas. In Europe, several stakeholders are developing or currently operating pilot plants of this technology. The technology could reach industrial scale by 2023-25 with modular installations scaled between 0,5 and 6 t/h.
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In October 2021 GNI published a ‘Sustainability of Biomethane Production in Ireland’ report undertaken by Devenish Nutrition and KPMG Sustainable Futures, which drew on existing academic research, as well as data and on-farm experience from the Dowth Research Farm in Co. Meath. The report concluded that agriculturally produced biomethane can be delivered sustainably and at scale to help reduce on-farm emissions and decarbonise Ireland’s energy system without reducing the national herd, disrupting food production, intensifying agricultural activities or impacting on biodiversity.
Research on the Injection of New Gases into Storage facilities (RINGS) is a research and development partnership to study the behaviour of biomethane and hydrogen when mixed with natural gas in deep aquifers, with a view to storing them effectively. In partnership with Storengy / University of Pau / CNRS / Carnot Institute / SNAM (observer) / ENAGAS (observer).
ERGaR is founded as a cooperation between European registries of biomethane certificates that will enable cross border trade of biomethane certificates among the member registries. ERGaR will be the Europe-wide recognised organisation for administering and mass balancing volumes of renewable gases virtually distributed along the European natural gas network.
RENOVAGAS is a research project whose first phase finished in 2017. It first aim was the development of a 15 kW demonstration plant for the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) from the electrolytic production of hydrogen with renewable energy sources (RES) and its combination directly with a biogas stream, that is, without separating CO2 from the methane, through a methanation process, so the synthetic natural gas obtained was fully renewable.
Snam, together with the Consorzio Italiano Biogas and Confagricoltura (CIB) has developed and presented a manifesto to the public in support of the Italian biomethane supply chain. CIB developed an innovative approach to produce sustainable biogas from winter crops called Biogasdoneright.
ONTRAS in cooperation with the NEUMAN & ESSER Group, developed a mobile biogas compressor. This compressor not only avoids expensive downtime at injection plants, it also enables redirection of pipeline gas during maintenance work. This helps ONTRAS to minimize flare-off emissions. Also, in case of a failure or malfunction in a stationary system, it should be possible to connect and use the mobile solution in the short-term.
This project aims to develop new techniques to measure the level of various compounds – compounds that may have an impact over a certain concentration – before injection of the biomethane into the network.
Energinet issues digital certificates for injected biomethane which represent the “green” value of energy produced from biogas, a renewable energy source. The green value of the upgraded biogas may be traded commercially.