Tag Archives: methanation

Italy a new hotspot for biogas upgrading?

The Italian decree from 2013 regarding biomethane regulations will be replaced by a new one in early 2017. The new decree will favour biomethane as transport fuel.

Italy is the most advanced European country when it comes to nr of filling stations and use of methane (natural gas) as vehicle fuel. Having the infrastructure in place and a public awareness of using methane as vehicle fuel Italy has already overcome the two main barriers for large scale implementation of biomethane as vehicle fuel.

The NGV fleet and number of filling stations continues to grow. 885,000 NGVs in 2014 compared to 970,000 NGVs in 2015. 1,100 CNG and L-CNG/LNG stations in 2015 compared to 990 in 2014. Almost 75% of the European NGV fleet is in Italy.

Since 2016, owners of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Italy are being encouraged to convert their vehicles to CNG as part of a new round of incentives made available by Italy’s Ministry of Environment. This scheme offers EUR 1.8 million to support alternative fuels.

Italy remains dedicated to the development of NGVs and encourages other countries to follow the leading example of the Italian industry and government.

Italy has 1,391 biogas plants and as the feed-in tariff for green electricity is phased out it’s natural to look for biomethane dedicated to the transportation sector as an alternative. This implies a huge opportunity for biogas upgrading companies.

It’s not a coincidence that we chose Italy as the location for 4th International conference on Renewable Energy Gas Technology, REGATEC 2017. The conference revolves around renewable methane of vehicle fuel quality produced through anaerobic digestion/upgrading, biomass gasification/methanation and Power-to-gas. For more info www.regatec.org


Renewtec visits ECN

On the 29th of September, Renewtec visited the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) in Petten.

The visit was part of the bioSNG technology inventory Renewtec AB is doing on behalf of an industrial client. The MILENA gasification process, the OLGA tar removal, and the ESME methanation were discussed in detailed and updates on the Alkmaar demonstration project (ambigo) were given.

Photo Jörgen Held. From left: Dr. Christiaan van der Meijden, representing ECN and Martin van’t Hoff, Business Development Manager, Dahlman Renewable Technology in front of the MILENA, OLGA and ESME posters.

Photo Jörgen Held. Lab scale OLGA unit at ECN.

The OLGA unit removes the tars above the water dew point. In this way the water can easily be removed by condensation without any contaminants in form of tars.

BioSweet and European BioSNG Networks WEBinar

On the 22nd of  October Renewtec AB was invited to give a presentation on “Biomethane activities around the globe and possible learnings relevant for Switzerland” at 2nd Biomass for Swiss Energy Future Conference in Brugg, Switzerland.

The presentation highlighted the advances in thermochemical conversion of biomass and waste to bioSNG as well as the SmaRTGas initiative and REGATEC 2016.

Approx. 70 people from Swiss academia, industry and funding agencies participated.

On the 23rd October Renewtec AB visited Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen  and got a guided tour in the new test facility for methanation, currently under construction.

SDC13567Dipl. Ing. Martin Künstle, Combustion Research Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute shows the layout of the test facility with its electrolyser, methanation reactors of different capacities and storage tanks for oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Thereafter researchers from PSI together with Renewtec AB participated in European BioSNG Networks WEBinar where activities within SmaRTGas and BRISK were discussed.

New Renewtec report on “Small scale gasification” (in Swedish)

BioMil and Renewtec have together conducted the project “Small scale gasification” (in Swedish). Within the framework of the project the biomethane production cost based on gasification and methanation of woody biomass has been calculated for two plants with a capacity of 5.6 MWth and 33 MWth and with and without district heating integration.

The study shows a production cost in the range of 6.40-12.20 SEK/Nm3 biomethane (approx. 70-130 eurocent) depending on the investment support of the Swedish Energy Agency, choice of interest rate, fuel cost and if the excess heat can be utilized or not. Additional cost reduction is possible if the separated carbon dioxide can be used, e.g. as carbon dioxide enrichment in greenhouses.

The project has been financed by  Region Skåne, Region Halland, AB Gas & Värmeteknik, AGA Gas AB, BioMil AB, DGC, E.ON Gasification Development AB, Highterm Research AB, Lunds Universitet, NSR AB, O2 Bio AB, Purac Puregas AB och Renewtec AB.

Renewtec report 002:2014


Renewtec visits GoBiGas

On the 13th of May Renewtec AB visited GoBiGas I, the world’s first industrial scale bioSNG plant, in Gothenburg.

GoBiGas I has a capacity of 32 MWth and is expected to produce 20 MW bioSNG. The gasification technology, based on indirect gasification has been licensed by Repotec and delivered by Metso. Jacobs Process BV is responsible for the gas cleaning and methanation with Haldor Topsoe as technology provider.

Indirect gasification is based on two fluidised beds connected to each other through loop seals. In this case a bubbling fluidised bed (gasifier) and a circulating fluidised bed (combustion reactor). Hot bed material is circulated from the combustion reactor to the gasifier where the biofuel (initially pellets) is gasified with steam as oxidizing agent. The char, together with bed material, is circulated back to the combustion reactor where the char is combusted in order to generate sufficient process heat.


On the picture Ingemar Gunnarsson (to the left) and Lars Andersson (to the right) from Gothenburg Energy are seen in the heart of the GoBiGas plant. Jörgen Held, Renewtec AB was given a full afternoon briefing on the technology and both minor and major issues was discussed with the competent and engaged GoBiGas staff.


The raw syngas from the gasifier is cooled in the syngas cooler and then filtered. In the next step the tars are separated through an RME scrubber. Unsaturated hydrocarbons, being a precursor to carbon deposition in the downstream catalytic processes, are saturated through hydrogenation. Sulphur is removed together with approx. 50% of the carbon dioxide content in an amine scrubber. A ZnO bed reduces the sulphur content to 0.1 ppm to protect the sulphur sensitive nickel based metahantion catalysts. After the methanation which takes place in four steps the gas is dried by zeolites and the bioSNG is delivered at a pressure of 5 bar.

Renewtec AB has been engaged by the Paul Scherrer Institutet in Switzerland to contribute, together with other research institutes, to a book on Synthetic Natural Gas for Wiley and Sons, New York. Renewtec AB is responsible for the chapter related to GoBiGas I.

Visit at PSI and agnion

Jörgen Held, Renewtec AB visited Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland and agnion’s pilot plant in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm in Germany on the 29th and 30th of October.

PSI has developed a fluidised bed methanation reactor suitable for production of biomethane in the smaller scale (<100 MWth). The reactor has been tested at the gasification plant in Güssing within the European project Bio-SNG where the whole value chain from Wood chips to biomethane as vechile fuel was demonstrated. Commerical partner is CTU.

agnion has developed and commercialised a small scale gasifier suitable for biomethane production. In the pilot plant in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm has catalytic tar reforming been tested.

Renewtec AB, in collaboration with BioMil AB, conducts 4 case studies on small scale biomethane production based on PSI’s and agnion’s technology.


Research engineer, Marco Senger, agnion (to the right) has just showed the pilot plant to Jörgen Held, Renewtec AB. In the background the catalytic tar reforming can be seen. Tests with automatic addition of active catalyst and removal of deactivated catalyst during operation have been conducted.


Renewtec and BioMil in collaboration on small scale bioSNG production

BioMil and Renewtec will conduct 4 case studies regarding small scale production of biomethane through gasification and methanation of wood chips. Two plant sizes, with and with out district heating integration, will be investigated.

The project has attracted a strong interest and the following companies/organisations co-finance the project.

  • Region Skåne
  • Region Halland
  • AGA Gas AB
  • agnion Highterm Research GmbH
  • BioMil AB
  • DGC
  • E.ON Gasification Development AB
  • Gas & Värmeteknik AB
  • Kemiteknik, Lunds universitet
  • NSR AB
  • Purac Puregas AB
  • Renewable Energy Technology International AB

The project builds on a previous study conducted by Renewtec where technology and specific investment cost for small scale bioSNG production were treated.

Next step will be to investigate other feedstocks than wood chips. Especially different types of waste are of interest and we are open for discussions with stakeholders interested in joining such a project.

Please contact Jörgen Held, jorgen.held@renewtec.se, +46 (0)723-182582 for more information.

REGATEC 2014 in good progress

We are happy to announce that REGATEC 2014 is in good progress. Already at this early stage several high profile speakers from Asia, America and Europe have confirmed their participation.

The speaker list is available at www.regatec.org/speakers

REGATEC 2014 has a technical and industrial focus and is directed towards microbial and thermo-chemical conversion of biomass and waste to biomethane. Don’t forget to mark 22-23 May 2014 in your calendar.