New report shows small scale BioSNG is competitive with large scale BioSNG!

By | 2019-03-04

Sweden, March 4 2019   The LignoSys project, financed by the Swedish Energy  Agency and 10 partners from 6 countries, including G4 insights from Canada, released its final report. The study showed that small scale BioSNG technology based on allothermal gasification is able to compete with large scale BioSNG technology based on pressurized, oxygen-blown gasification in terms of production cost. These technologies can also compete with large scale BioSNG facilities in terms of GHG emissions, primary energy need and conversion efficiency.

The LignoSys project investigated the performance of three small scale (~10 MWth) thermochemical conversion routes for lignocellulosic feedstock to biomethane:

  • Indirect gasification through the Heatpipe Reformer (HPR)
  • PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation (PCH)
  • Indirect gasification through the WoodRoll® process

The performance of the three thermochemical conversion routes was investigated for woody biomass. However, for non woody lignocellulose rich biomass such as straw, the thermochemical conversion routes were compared to anaerobic digestion in combination with pretreatment of feedstock and upgrading of the raw biogas to biomethane.

More precisely, the findings included:

  • All three conversion routes have conversion efficiencies about 60%, based on LHV from biomass to BioSNG using wood chips with a water content of 40% as feedstock.
  • There is no significant difference between the environmental footprint of the three technologies.
  • The production cost of PCH and the upscaled WoodRoll® process are of 74.4 and 61.7 EUR/MWh, compared to 64.9 EUR/MWh for a BioSNG large scale facility.
  • Thermochemical conversion of non-woody biomass such as straw has the potential to produce more biomethane than the biochemical conversion route based on anaerobic digestion, though it can’t be used as a single fuel yet.

In conclusion, the report also identified several synergies between bio and thermochemical biomethane production such as heat integration, gasification and the digestate and cost-sharing of the upgrading system and downstream equipment.

The purpose of the final report was to highlight the development and advances in thermo and biochemical conversion of lignocellulosic feedstock to biomethane and raise the public awareness of the opportunities it offers. The goal was also to provide decision, policy makers and market actors with key indicators to help them choose which system solution, under which conditions, is preferred.

You can read the LignoSys final report on Renewtec Report 008:2018