EBA returns from another successful edition of Biogas Science

The event saw its last edition in Szeged, Hungary, on 21-24 August.

This edition followed previous conferences held in Germany (2009) and Austria (2014), creating a tradition to provide a forum for all parties active in the field of anaerobic degradation of organic matter and renewable energy production in the form of biogas. The event was organised as a collaborative effort of the University of Szeged and the Hungarian Biogas Association.

The main topics of the conference regarded achievements and future trends in biogas research and development, process development, industrial applications, life cycle analysis, and biogas and biomethane utilization. Main focus of presenters was on metagenomics of the microbial consortium in biogas reactors and anaerobic digestion of lignocellulose-rich substrates.

Arthur Wellinger, Executive Board Member of the European Biogas Association, held a keynote lecture on the “Challenges of Biogas Development”. He called the progress of the biogas market being in an ongoing hurdle run with regular ups and downs. Last year, 19.2% of the total energy demand was covered by renewable energy sources. He also stressed the importance of sustainability in the biogas sector via usage of sustainable substrates like waste and sustainable produced biomass, good practice in operating the biogas plants, gas storages and the need for further research topics.

Jan Stambasky, President of the European Biogas Association, held a keynote lecture on “Potential and Targets for renewable methane in Europe” showing the progress of the biogas market in recent years. He stressed that about one third of Europe has a solid and steadily increasing biogas market already but there are better conditions (legislation, feed-in-tariffs, supporting schemes) in the other two thirds of Europe necessary. Although the biogas technology is known for many decades, there has been a biomethane boom only in recent years. He stressed the importance of Biomethane as a transport fuel in the form of CNG (compressed natural gas) and LNG (liquid natural gas) for truck fleets and shipping transport where no other renewable energy can provide solutions. Additionally, the biogas technology provides advantages such as GHG savings by usage of waste products and providing digestate as natural fertiliser.

Next to the scientific programme, the conference also offered a broad social programme with a Welcome Reception on Sunday and a Conference Dinner providing typical Hungarian food on Monday. On Tuesday evening, the community of Europe’s young biogas researchers gathered together for a tour through the city of Szeged.

More information on this edition of the Biogas Science Conference can be found on its dedicated website here.