Next Article in Journal
An Analysis Model Combining Gamma-Type Stirling Engine and Power Converter
Previous Article in Journal
Smart Energy Systems: Guidelines for Modelling and Optimizing a Fleet of Units of Different Configurations
Previous Article in Special Issue
Short-Term Nitrogen Uptake of Barley from Differently Processed Biogas Digestate in Pot Experiments
Article Menu
Issue 7 (April-1) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Energies 2019, 12(7), 1321;

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

DBFZ—Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum Gemeinnützige GmbH, Torgauer Strasse 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Box 7033, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
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
PDF [4493 KB, uploaded 6 April 2019]


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

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Energies EISSN 1996-1073 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top