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Biomethane 2G: an alternative to natural gas in Europe?

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The question is asked by the consulting firm Alcimed . This is to address the issue of 2G also called biomethane BioSNG . Recall that the second-generation biogas is produced from lignocellulosic biomass ( wood and straw mainly) and is done in two steps: gasification and methanation . Gasification is a thermochemical process that converts organic material into a synthesis gas called syngas (CO + H2) . This syngas is then processed and purified to undergo methanation catalytically . This process is distinct from the biogas , which also produces a green gas but by fermentation.

2G biogas has many advantages , the main one being its origin Biobased unlike fossil natural gas. In addition, the production of biomethane 2G is storable and transportable in large quantities through the existing network of natural gas which is less the case for the electricity and heat produced by biomass cogeneration .

Today, however, the production technologies BioSNG does not establish a reliable cost of production for this product. Alcimed reports that the main industry experts agree that even at maturity , the price of BioSNG will most likely be significantly higher than that of natural gas. This can be explained by multiple production steps BioSNG .

The European Union and the Member States could then promote the development of BioSNG promoting offers through investment aid for the promotion of research on the topic and the implementation of pilot sites. And demand could be stimulated by imposing a share of green gas consumption or sectors to use 100% renewable energy . On this last point , Alcimed cites as an example the case of Sweden and Denmark, which are engaged in the transport sector with a goal of 100% renewable by 2030.

Inventory of projects

The current production projects BioSNG are few in Europe, according to the study . No installation is in operation, only pilot demonstration as GAYA GoBi Gas in France or Sweden are under development . Two other projects are under discussion : it is Bio2G E.ON and project ECN in partnership with HCV . . In addition, the first pilot European 2G biogas held in G├╝ssing in Austria in 2008 . The proposed R & D , arrested after test campaign demonstrated the technical feasibility of the concept . Finally, the existence of two business model seems to be confirmed for this future industry. A massive , centralized production BioSNG , from large units . They would need to import large quantities of biomass but would make it easier to achieve profitability.

The other way is a decentralized approach , using local supplies from the perspective of territorial development. In this case, the economic equation is more complicated to solve, because of the scale effect , says Jean -Philippe Tridant Bel, Director of Energy and Environment Alcimed activity.

source Alcimed via Formule Verte

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