New European project promotes voluntary action for GHG emissions control in the biogas sector

The EvEmBi project, launched last January in Lund, Sweden, will evaluate methane emissions from European biogas plants to develop a European voluntary system for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation. The European Biogas Association is supporting the project to develop this voluntary system, together with specific national ones, to control emissions in the biogas sector.

EU countries are obliged to report their national inventories for GHG emissions, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines require emission factors (EFs) estimates for this annual reporting. However, the current EFs used in IPCC are based on a limited amount of studies which result in a broad range of values and thus in low accuracy.

In the case of biogas production, one of the main components of biogas is methane (CH4), a strong greenhouse gas (GHG). Hence, the positive environmental benefit of the production of biogas depends on the level of unintended CH4 emissions from this process. Measuring this requires high quality, comparable data sets about biogas plants. Improved and more extensive monitoring methods for evaluating overall CH4 losses have been developed in biogas plants. Accuracy to calculate methane EFs can be improved, for instance with precise and comprehensive measurement data in full-scale waste treatment facilities.

This measurement challenge was the seed of the EvEmBi project, created to evaluate different biogas plant concepts (e.g., agricultural biogas and bio-waste or wastewater treatment plants) used in Europe with respect to their methane emission factors (EFs). The expected outcomes of the project will be the determination of the EFs, emission reduction strategies, European and national (country specific) position papers on GHG emissions and emission mitigation strategies. The EvEmBi project is funded in the 11th Joint Call for Research and Development Proposals of the ERA-NET Bioenergy.

Project Consortium: DBFZ Deutsche Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH – University of Stuttgart, Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management – Fachverband Biogas e. V. – BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Waste Management – BE2020+ BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbH – AAT Biogas Technology – KBVÖ Kompost & Biogas Verband Österreich – ÖS-CH Genossenschaft Ökostrom Schweiz – Fachhochschule Bern – RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB – Avfall SverigeSvenskt VattenDTU Technical University of Denmark – EBA European Biogas Association