Study confirms biogas has the potential to become even greener

According to the Wroclaw University of Technology, the CO2 footprint of biogas can be reduced even more.

Biogas is one of the greenest hydrocarbon fuels on the market, but as reported, the new technology of pressurised anaerobic digestion (PAD) could help reduce the carbon footprint to an even lower level.

Compared to the non-renewable hydrocarbon fuels, where carbon footprints reach around 200 kg per megawatt-hour (MWh), most of today’s biogas counts approximately 50 kg of CO2 per MWh. The recent polish research suggest that the biogas carbon footprint could be reduced even further.

Wojciech Budzianowski, a researcher at Wrocław University of Technology, and his student Karol Postawa conducted a study which showed that by increasing the pressure under which AD is performed, the biogas CO2 footprint could be lowered to 13 kilograms of CO2 per MWh (assuming that the fuel was used in the transport industry, rather than for electricity generation).

The interest for the PAD technique was increasing in past several years and the Polish study is the first to scientifically examine its potential in a real-world scenario. Many sophisticated numerical simulations were conducted in order to predict how using PAD, instead of AD, would affect the total carbon emissions of the produced biogas.

According to the simulation the resulting biogas would have a carbon footprint of 32 kg CO2 per MWh if the PAD was performed at 30 times atmospheric pressure (3 MPa/435 psi), or 13 kg CO2 per MWh if the PAD was carried out at 50 times atmospheric pressure (5 MPa/725 psi).

However, PAD has not yet been used to produce biogas on an economic scale, but this study suggest that the full potential of biogas as a low-carbon fuel is still to be obtained.

Source: eniday

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