UK: Building work due imminently on country’s new biomass gasification plants

A group of companies led by Progressive Energy is soon to begin construction of new systems that will gasify biomass and send it to the grid. 

A biosynthetic natural gas (Bio-SNG) unit will be retrofitted to EfW developer Advanced Plasma Power’s existing pilot plasma gasification facility in Swindon, which will be supplied with waste wood. Equipment is being delivered and should all be on-site in about five weeks’ time, said Progressive Energy director Chris Manson-Whitton at the Energy from Waste 2015 conference last week. The firm both advises and develops clean energy projects.

The project has been in development since 2010, in conjunction with gas grid operator National Grid and others. APP was brought on board because its plasma system supplies high-quality syngas with low levels of tar. Following cleanup, the Bio-SNG unit will first subject the syngas to the water-gas shift reaction, converting carbon monoxide and water to carbon dioxide and hydrogen. This will be followed by methanation, generating methane from carbon monoxide and hydrogen, terminating with a Carbotech upgrader to produce grid-quality gas.

The cost of the project is €6.9m (£5m), most of which has been funded by the UK government and the European Commission. It should be brought online in the third quarter of 2015, with test procedures continuing after that. Gas grid operator National Grid expects that a fleet of similar plants could enter in operation over the coming decade, delivering a significant amount of gas into the pipeline system.

The Swindon project will be a Bio-SNG project to be fed with waste wood. Other plants or projects, such as GoBiGas in Sweden or Biomassacentrale Zutphen in the Netherlands, use virgin wood.

This article appears courtesy of ENDS Waste&Bioenergy.
Author: Gareth Simkins

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This article is a result of a partnership between ENDS Waste&Bionergy and EBA.