Here’s an overview of key biogas news. In this edition, new projects in anaerobic digestion, biomass CHP, carbone capture and storage and LNG/CNG as a fuel are in development. Studies and researches about biomethane in transportation, climate change and to convert a coal-fired plant to advanced biomass get published or started.
In response to the agencies’ proposed rules for new fuel economy and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions standards, natural gas vehicle (NGV) groups are calling upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to use the rulemaking opportunity to expand incentives for NGVs in the light-duty sector. Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica), the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition), the American Gas Association (AGA) and the American Public Gas Association (APGA) have submitted comments to the NHTSA and EPA in response to their “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks,” proposed earlier this year with backlash from groups including CALSTART and the Sierra Club, as well as lawmakers including California Gov. Jerry Brown.
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has announced that there will be a federal system in place in the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019. “The effects of climate change are everywhere, and they are a constant reminder of the need to act now. While climate change is the biggest challenge of this generation, it also provides the opportunity to do better while growing the economy,” said PM Trudeau.On October 23, PM Trudeau announced that there will be a federal system in place in the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019 as the next step in the government’s plan to protect the environment and grow the economy.
A growing energy park in East Yorkshire could soon be home to a new anaerobic digestion plant. Melton Energy Tech, based in Melton, wants to build the new facility at the existing waste transfer site, off Gibson Lane. The plant would convert organic waste into gas, which would then run into the national gas grid for use. If approved by East Riding Council , the new digestion plant would create four full-time jobs. A planning statement said: “The Applicant already operates a 4.6MW twin turbine wind project, adjacent to the project, and will shortly construct a further three similar turbines. “The company is also developing a 20 MW energy from waste plant, which has recently received planning consent, and, as stated above, has recently submitted a planning application for a 20MW standby generation plant which would utilise biomethane produced by the AD plant as its fuel, when operating.
In the Netherlands, biomass combustion technology providers HoSt has announced that it has begun construction on a new 15 MWth biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Duiven. Scheduled for commissioning in mid-2022, this unique ‘new generation’ multi-fuel installation is being built for the company Sparkling Biomass B.V. and will be able to combust both woody biomass and other biomass and residues. The plant will supply a feed mill with heat, steam, and electricity from wood waste derived from the municipality of Duiven and its surrounding areas. The remaining green electricity will be supplied to the grid. In the future, the installation can be connected to the district heating network of Arnhem and Nijmegen. Initially, low-grade woody biomass will be combusted, originating from a composting plant that processes green waste.
Biogest has constructed a Gas2Grid anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Willand in Devon that can be fed with a variety of feedstock including grass silage and fresh cut grass. The plant is located approximately 30 kilometres from the city of Exeter and has a biogas production capacity of 1,000 m3/h. It utilises the company’s PowerRing system which draws on an extremely low proportion of the power it generates, because of the mixer technique feed-in system and overall design. PoweRing is a highly efficient 2-stage biogas plant that is suitable for operation with almost all substrates. The design is based on an external main digester and an internal post-digester. The main digester is a ring canal, which allows a controlled plug flow. The plant also incorporates an insolated concrete lid on the fermenter which could help to massively reduce heat loss.
Sweden-headed oil refiner and renewable fuel producer Preem AB, together with Chalmers University of Technology and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF have conducted a preliminary study on how Preem’s refinery in Lysekil could use Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technology. The study shows that a full-scale CCS plant at Preem’s refinery in Lysekil could reduce CO2 emissions by one third. Now the company is aiming to build a full-scale facility by 2025. The Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology itself is about separating carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue gases before these are released into the atmosphere. Already today, Preem’s refineries are around 20 percent more environmentally efficient than the average in Europe. The introduction of CCS at the hydrogen production plant in Lysekil could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 500 000 tonnes per annum, of the total amount of 1.6 million tonnes.
Barcelona-based HAM Group, the Port of Barcelona and retail fuel supplier GALP have collaborated to open the first gas filling station of Spain’s state port system. The station is set up to supply vehicles with liquefied (LNG) and compressed (CNG) natural gas. The new infrastructure is described by HAM as a key facility to promote the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel for land transport of goods. The offical opening was attended by the Marketing and Strategy manager of HAM Group, Antoni Murugó Solé; the president of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa; the Environmental manager of the Port, Jordi Vila; the commercial manager of Gas & Power of GALP, Fernando Martín-Nieto Vaquero. The gas station is the result of an agreement between HAM, in charge of the construction and operation of the LNG station, and GALP, which has carried out the improvement of the facilities.
A new study from the European Federation for Transport and Environment has claimed that biomethane will have a ‘limited’ role in the EU’s bid to lower greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and shipping. Titled CNG and LNG for vehicles and ships – the facts, the study “compiles the latest evidence on the environmental impacts of using gas a transport fuel”. Transport and Environment (T&E) is a European umbrella for NGOs working in the transport and environment fields, aiming to promote sustainable transport in Europe. A key claim of the latest report is that using natural gas for transport is as bad for the climate as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels. Acknowledging that both biomethane and power-to-methane can have significantly lower GHG emissions than fossil gas, the study questions the potential biomethane has to play in decarbonising transport.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a sobering report with the catchy title “Global warming of 1.5°C: an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty”. The report states that we have already reached 1.0°C of global warming due to human activities and that we are likely to reach an average rise in global temperatures of 1.5°C within 12 to 34 years. If we were to stop reducing emissions today, we would without doubt reach an increase in temperatures of 2°C by 2100. The consequences of an increase in temperatures to 2°C are significant. Compared to a 1.5°C increase by 2100, an increase to 2°C would lead to an acceleration of environmental, social and economic impacts across the globe.
In the Netherlands, the European ARBAHEAT consortium has started a four-year EU co-funded research project to investigate the conversion of an Ultra-SuperCritical coal-fired power plant in Rotterdam into a biomass-fired heat and power plant. The innovative technology used to produce the required steam treated biomass has been developed by the Norwegian company Arbaflame AS. Called “Cost-effective transformation of a Highly-Efficient, Advanced, Thermal Ultra-SuperCritical coal-fired power plant into a CHP by retrofitting and integrating an ARBAFLAME biomass upgrading process (ARBAHEAT)“, the project aims to integrate an innovative biomass pre-treatment installation into the 800 MW coal-fired Maasvlakte Power Station 1 owned by project partner ENGIE Energie Nederland.