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Energies 2019, 12(6), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12060979

Italian Biogas Plants: Trend, Subsidies, Cost, Biogas Composition and Engine Emissions

1
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, 35100 Padova, Italy
2
Department of Engineering and Management, University of Padova, 35100 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Production and Utilization of Biogas)
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Abstract

Italy is one of the leading nations in the biogas sector. Agricultural, landfill, sewage and manure substrates are converted into biogas using anaerobic digestion and, then, into electricity and heat by means of properly arranged internal combustion engines. In this study, after an overview of the European context, the authors present the Italian biogas sector status in terms of development trends and factors that favour/block biogas spread. Despite the fact that biogas is a renewable fuel and a consolidate technology, it is mandatory to examine its real costs, biogas composition and engine combustion products. For this purpose, in the present work, the authors selected six in-operation biogas plants fed by different substrates, investigate plants construction and operation costs and measure both biogas and engine emissions compositions. Biogas status analysis shows a high growth rate until the end of 2012 due to generous Government subsidies while, after supports reduction, a continuous depletion of biogas installations is observed. Alongside the development, established supports overlook also the plant size as well as the cost. In fact, the most widespread plant nameplate electric power is 1 MW while its construction cost ranges between 4.2–4.8 millions of Euros. Real on-site measurements show variable biogas composition while engine emissions are comparable with the natural gas ones. View Full-Text
Keywords: Italian biogas sector; emission legislation; biogas plant cost; biogas composition; biogas engine emissions Italian biogas sector; emission legislation; biogas plant cost; biogas composition; biogas engine emissions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Benato, A.; Macor, A. Italian Biogas Plants: Trend, Subsidies, Cost, Biogas Composition and Engine Emissions. Energies 2019, 12, 979.

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