Biomethane is a renewable energy source which can be used in multiple ways, including power generation, heating or as a biofuel. It can be produced from various agricultural raw materials and residues. In particular, it can be made from agricultural residues, such as manure, slurry, organic waste and straw.
As an advanced 2nd generation biofuel verbiogas is a renewable energy source that does not compete with food. It is made from slop - a residue from bioethanol production - and from straw. Digested residue conduces as a bio-fertilizer for agriculture.
After fermentation the biogas is purified and conitioned to to the quality of natural gas and fed into the existing natural gas grid. In fact biomethane has the same chemical composition as natural gas. Both can be mixed to any extend. Biomethane is the most efficient (bio)fuel there is. It has a much higher energy density than any other fuel. Compared to gasoline biomethane reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90% and fuel costs by ca. 50%.
Four big bales of straw (two tonnes of straw) transformed into biomethane provide enough biofuel to run a mid-class CNG car for a whole year (ca. 11,500 km).
Production of verbiogas
verbiogas is produced in an entirely new type of bio-refinery. It is made exclusively from agricultural waste such as distillery slop, a by-product of bioethanol production, and straw. No foodstuffs are used.
The raw materials are fermented in big fermenters with a capacity of 8,000 to 10,000 cubic metres. The biomass is left in the fermenters with the addition of bacteria for about 30 to 150 days. During fermentation, raw biogas is produced comprising about 60% methane. It also contains carbon dioxide, sulphur and inorganic elements, which are removed in the next steps in first a desulphurization plant and then a CO2 capture plant. The inorganic components are also removed.
The resulting biomethane with a purity of 99% is then fed into the natural gas grid. Ammonium sulphate solution, straw humus, phosphate and potassium are also produced and can be used as organic fertilizer.
VERBIO received the Biogas Innovation Prize for the technological development of mono-Fermentation of slop from the dena Germany Energy Agency.
Development and Installation of the innovative and unique technology to gain biomethane from 100% straw is supported by the EU under the NER300 programme.
VERBIO sells verbiogas at filling stations selling natural gas in Germany, which are largely run by local municipal utilities.
Biomethane from straw - EU funded project „DE BIOh Verbiostraw“
About the project
Within the framework of the EU funding programme NER300 the European Union supports the further development of VERBIO’s innovative technology to produce biomethane from 100% straw at it’s production site in Schwedt/Oder with up to EUR 22.3 million during 2014 – 2019. The funding amount is based on a fixed rate for biomethane fed into the gas grid.
VERBIO-demonstration facility Schwedt/Oder
- Technology: mono fermentation of straw (biomethane equal to natural gas made of 100% straw)
- Plant capacity (final stage): 16.5 MW (136 GWh/a)
- Feedstock (final stage): 40,000 tons of straw p.a.
- 1st feed into the gas grid: 4th quarter 2014
- Sustainability: no foodstuffs used as feedstock and fermentation residue marketed as a high-quality fertilizer to restore humus balance
- straw processing to biomethane of such dimensions is unique throughout the world
- feedstock gained from agricultural residues only, being available in large quantities:
up to 20 million tons p.a. unused straw potentially available in Germany (source: DBFZ) corresponding to the fuel consumption of up to 10 million passenger cars/year or 200,000 heavy-duty trucks
Marketing and sale
- marketing under the brand verbiogas
- as a biofuel for natural gas vehicles in public and private transportation via the existing natural gas filling stations of public utilities and energy providers
- as innovative alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks
- VERBIO itself is changing its truck fleet into CNG vehicles driven by biomethane (BioCNG or BioLNG)
Fuel from straw: CO2 neutral with #StrawinTank
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