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Multi-indicator assessment of innovative small-scale biomethane technologies in Europe

Affiliation
DBFZ—Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Strasse 116, Leipzig, Germany
Bienert, Kathrin;
Affiliation
DBFZ—Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Strasse 116, Leipzig, Germany
Schumacher, Britt;
Affiliation
DBFZ—Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Strasse 116, Leipzig, Germany
Arboleda, Martín Rojas;
Affiliation
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, Leipzig, Germany
Billig, Eric;
Affiliation
DBFZ—Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Strasse 116, Leipzig, Germany
Shakya, Samiksha;
Affiliation
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Box 7033, Uppsala, Sweden
Rogstrand, Gustav;
Affiliation
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Ul. Warszawska 117a, Olsztyn, Poland
Zielinski, Marcin;
Affiliation
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Ul. Warszawska 117a, Olsztyn, Poland
Debowski, Marcin

Innovative small-scale biogas plants, including upgrading solutions to affordable biomethane, are necessary to tap into the spatially distributed potentials of organic waste. This research identified and assessed novel small-scale technologies before market-entry maturity in the key process steps of the biomethane chain. We assessed technical, economic, and ecological indicators, and compared them to larger-scale references. The assessment included 7 pre-treatment, 13 digester, and 11 upgrading systems all at the small scale. We collected recently available data for Europe (2016–2018) for small-scale technologies (<200 m ³ ; raw biogas per hour). In the literature we did not find such a comprehensive assessment of actual European small-scale innovative non-market-ready technologies for the production of biomethane. Several conclusions were drawn for each of the individual process steps in the biomethane chain, e.g., the economic indicator calculated for the upgrading technologies shows that the upgrading costs, for some of them, are already close to the larger-scale reference (about 1.5 €ct/kWh raw biogas). Furthermore, biomethane production is absolutely context-specific, which dramatically limits the traditional way to evaluate technologies. Hence, new ways of integration of the technologies plays a major role on their future R&D.

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