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Hydrogen paves the way for biogas in the transportation sector

By State of Green, December 14, 2018

The development of sustainable biofuels for aeroplanes, ships and other heavy-duty traffic is one of the bottlenecks in the transition to a fossil-free society. Biogas may provide the answer.

A Danish partnership, consisting of businesses and research institutes, wishes to use hydrogen to metanise biogas in order to make it more profitable to convert slurry and organic waste into, for example, biofuels for the transportation sector.

The project is called eFuel and is initiated by Nature Energy, one of the biggest producers of biogas in Europe, the technology supplier BiogasClean and the research institutions Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Southern University of Denmark (SDU).

-Related solution: Biogas: The future of agricultural waste recycling

‘’Currently, the Danish biogas industry is developing fast. We are already leading in Europe when it comes to replacing fossil gas with green biogas and we want to continue this journey. However, this will not just happen by itself. It requires investments, and the eFuel project is one of those projects, which can secure the future of Nature Energy and other Danish companies and keep us strong in the global marked’’, said CEO of Nature Energy, Ole Hvelplund, and added that Nature Energy is already receiving enquiries for green biogas for biofuel.

By producing hydrogen on wind turbine energy, the technology also provides the possibility of storing wind energy when the wind is strong and the energy is cheapest.

Increasing the output by 2/3

A biogas plant produces methane – biogas – from biomass, however, only 60 per cent of the biomass is converted into methane – up until 40 per cent becomes CO2, which has to be washed out of the biogas to increase the heating value. The 40 per cent CO2 is what the partners behind eFuel wish to convert into methane by using hydrogen – a so-called methanisation of the biogas. This will increase the output by 2/3 from the same amount of biomass.

-Related solution: Transforming agricultural waste into biogas

A key technology in energy systems of the future

Studies from The Danish Energy Agency, Energinet and multiple universities show that a better utilisation of the biomass resource is necessary as biomass will become a limited resource in future energy systems.

Consequently, a part of the biomass needs to be reserved for the production of biofuel, as it is one of the most realistic ways of ensuring sustainable fuels for heavy-duty transportation and aviation. According to Statistics Denmark, the transportation sector is in particular one of the sectors where energy consumption has increased since 1980.

‘’With eFuel, we wish to support the development of future fossil free technologies and strengthen Denmark’s leading green position. The perspectives of eFuel are great – both environmentally and in terms of business potential”, said Mogens Michael Møller, Director of Environmental Forum Funen, Denmark who initiated eFuel.

The partners behind eFuel are currently seeking funding to further develop the technology and run tests at a prototype facility located near Nature Energy’s biogas plant in Mid Funen. The biogas is produced solely on organic waste material such as garbage, straw and slurry.

Source: Energy Supply

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