October 19, 2017 – To make natural gas and biogas suitable for use, the methane has to be separated from the CO₂. This involves the use of membranes: filters that stop the methane and let the CO₂ pass through. Researchers at KU Leuven have developed a new membrane that makes the separation process much more effective. When it comes to extracting natural gas or producing biogas, it’s all about the methane. But methane is never found in its pure form. Natural gas, for instance, always contains quite a bit of carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas CO2), sometimes up to 50 percent. To purify the methane—or, in other words, remove the CO2—the industry often uses membranes. These membranes function as molecular sieves that separate the methane and the CO2.
October 20, 2017 – Oct. 19, at its annual conference, the American Biogas Council announced the winners of its Biogas Industry Awards, presented at a sold out dinner celebration at BioCycle REFOR16. The winners included five biogas systems, one innovation and one individual all recognized for their contributions to the growth of the U.S. biogas industry. In addition, 34 projects received the ABC’s first longevity awards given to biogas systems which have been continuously operating for more than five years. The award ceremony followed the announcement of 13 projects and innovations which made the ABC’s shortlist, the finalists for the Biogas Industry Awards—all laudable in their own right.
October 20, 2017 – Gas made from domestic waste, energy crops, agricultural waste, food waste and sewage could heat up to 15 million homes in the UK every year by 2050, according to a new study just published by Britain’s largest gas distribution network. Titled The Bioenergy Review, the report was commissioned by Cadent to estimate how much of the UK’s energy demand could be met by renewable gas. The research was compiled by sustainable energy consultants Anthesis and E4tech, and updates the findings of a previous study carried out by the Committee on Climate Change in 2011.
October 23, 2017 – The Newton Fund’s Institutional Links programme finances research and innovation in developing countries, providing up to 300,000 pounds for every collaboration. The areas of interest also include biogas, valued for its environmental benefits and the positive impact it has on local communities. Key projects are currently underway in Colombia and Thailand.
October 23, 2017 – The UK’s dustbins could hold the answer to decarbonising the heat sector with affordable biogas. That’s the suggestion from gas distribution network Cadent, formerly National Grid, which has suggested waste from the nation’s homes, farms, sewage and food could generate enough sustainable fuel to keep between seven and 15 million homes warm each year. There are currently more than 80 biogas plants connected to Britain’s gas network, where these feedstocks are fermented to create biomethane. The report indicates with the right support, production of the gas could grow substantially over the next 30 years and help save billions of pounds compared to relying on only electricity to heat homes and workplaces.
October 24, 2017 – French gas utility Engie is in discussions with Total and other unnamed companies as it reviews parts of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) businesses, it said on Monday, raising the prospect of a possible sale. In a statement Engie said it had launched a strategic review of its upstream and midstream LNG units – which include the liquefaction, transport and trading of LNG – though downstream activities such as regasification was not included. Financial newsletter La Lettre de l‘Expansion had reported that Engie was in talks over a possible sale of its LNG division to Total and a deal could be reached in coming weeks.
October 24, 2017 – Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has completed refinancing worth £250 million (€280 million) of its interest in two biomass power plants in the UK. According to a CIP statement, the fund has provided equity, preferred equity and senior debt for the development and construction of the two biomass power plants. The two facilities have now come into operation and senior debt has been sourced from third parties to refinance CIP’s initial investment. The £250 million in financing is delivered by a combination of banks and institutional investors, confirming the commercial viability and attractiveness of biomass power plants to the broader debt markets.
October 25, 2017 – Built in 2008 to address the issue of the disposal of livestock waste, Biogas Wipptal collects a total of around 220 tons of manure per day from 64 farmers in the Upper Isarco Valley (Trentino Alto Adige). The ideal solution for the waste disposal was the installation in 2016 of a 1MW biogas plant that produces electricity, heat and digestate. The electricity (with 4 million kWh already produced) is sold to the grid; the heat, on the other hand, is used to dry the digestate. The digestate management process is both interesting and innovative, something that has enabled the plant to receive European funding through the LIFE+ programme.
October 25, 2017 – Biogas plants in Germany are saving 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, according to the president of the German Biogas Association. Recently released figures from the German Biogas Association show that 205 new biogas plants were connected to the grid in 2016, more than the 150 expected by the association. The figures also show that ten biogas plants were decommissioned. In total, the new plants have an output of 45 megawatts (MW), with 37 MW being used to generate electricity.
October 26, 2017 – A new report has been released that shows that Scotland could generate millions of tonnes of ‘bio’ material that could add value to the country’s economy. The new report Is entitled Biorefining Potential for Scotland and has been produced by Zero Waste Scotland. It aims to provide detailed insight into circular economy opportunities for waste and by-products generated in Scotland. Scotland is recognized as a world-leader on the circular economy, which aims to design out waste by keeping materials and products in high-value use for as long as possible.