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Energies 2019, 12(7), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12071321

Multi-Indicator Assessment of Innovative Small-Scale Biomethane Technologies in Europe

1
DBFZ—Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Strasse 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany
2
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
3
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Box 7033, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
4
Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, ul. Warszawska 117a, 10-720 Olsztyn, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
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Abstract

Innovative small-scale biogas plants, including upgrading solutions to affordable biomethane, are necessary to tap into the spatially distributed potentials of organic waste. This research identified and assessed novel small-scale technologies before market-entry maturity in the key process steps of the biomethane chain. We assessed technical, economic, and ecological indicators, and compared them to larger-scale references. The assessment included 7 pre-treatment, 13 digester, and 11 upgrading systems all at the small scale. We collected recently available data for Europe (2016–2018) for small-scale technologies (<200 m3; raw biogas per hour). In the literature we did not find such a comprehensive assessment of actual European small-scale innovative non-market-ready technologies for the production of biomethane. Several conclusions were drawn for each of the individual process steps in the biomethane chain, e.g., the economic indicator calculated for the upgrading technologies shows that the upgrading costs, for some of them, are already close to the larger-scale reference (about 1.5 €ct/kWh raw biogas). Furthermore, biomethane production is absolutely context-specific, which dramatically limits the traditional way to evaluate technologies. Hence, new ways of integration of the technologies plays a major role on their future R&D. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomethane; pre-treatment; anaerobic digestion; biogas upgrading; greenhouse gas emissions; costs for biogas upgrading biomethane; pre-treatment; anaerobic digestion; biogas upgrading; greenhouse gas emissions; costs for biogas upgrading
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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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Bienert, K.; Schumacher, B.; Rojas Arboleda, M.; Billig, E.; Shakya, S.; Rogstrand, G.; Zieliński, M.; Dębowski, M. Multi-Indicator Assessment of Innovative Small-Scale Biomethane Technologies in Europe. Energies 2019, 12, 1321.

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