Biomethane and Biogas Plant Project Development
What is Biomethane?
Biomethane is the "renewable natural gas" made from organic sources - which starts out as "biogas" but then is cleaned up in a process called "Biogas to Biomethane" which removes the impurities in biogas such as carbon dioxide, siloxanes and hydrogen sulfides (H2S).
Biomethane is soon to be re-classified from the category of "Low Carbon Fuels" to "Super Low Carbon Fuel" due to it being recognized as the greenest of all biofuels!
and ready for use in an onsite cogeneration or
trigeneration power plant, the Biomethane
could also be sold to a pipeline company and completely replace the
"natural gas" that is typically transported to markets via the vast
underground pipeline system.
Biomethane will some day replace the "methane" that is sold by natural gas utility companies.
Biomethane has an unlimited supply, whereas the methane sold by gas companies has a limited supply. Biomethane is renewable, whereas the methane sold by your gas utility company is not renewable. Biomethane and biogas recovery, use and production generates "Greentags" or a "Renewable Energy Credit" for the owners and is GOOD for our environment.
As previously mentioned, Biomethane is "naturally" produced from organic materials as they decay. Sources of Biomethane include; landfills, POTW's/Wastewaster Treatment Systems, and every tree or agricultural product that is no longer living. Biomethane is also generated from animal operations where manure can be collected and the Biomethane is generated from anaerobic digesters where the manure decomposes.
Biomethane, after installation of the Biomethane equipment is essentially free, as opposed to buying natural gas, presently costing around $10.00/mmbtu.
Methanogenesis is the production of CH4 and CO2 by biological processes that are carried out by methanogens.
Unlike the price of natural gas, which has been very unstable, and wildly fluctuating from $5.50 to as much as $17.00/mmbtu this past year, Biomethane prices will tend to be more stable over the years. As more and more Biomethane is produced, and produced in reliable and sustainable methods that can fuel our energy needs now and for.
Biogas and Biomethane is produced from:
Animal Feeding Operations
Crop waste - Organic commercial/industrial waste
Energy Crops / Cellulosic Crops (e.g., grass, stillage, switchgrass)
Wastewater & Wastewater Treatment Plants
It Comes to Energy Independence,
Biomethane, Not Coal, is America's "Ace in the Hole"
and the Greenest of All Biofuels
It's Time to Start Building Our Country's Biomethane Infrastructure &
Producing Biomethane, the Cleanest/Greenest Biofuel!
NOT Coal, is America's True "Ace in the Hole" when it comes to our
energy future, economics, the environment, sustainability and America's
“Energy Independence.” And biomethane is also receiving recognition as being
the greenest of all biofuels!
years now, the coal industry has been touting "coal is America's 'Ace in
the Hole'" when they discuss the abundance of our coal reserves here in the
U.S. and the role they hope coal will play in America's energy future.
coal is far from being the “Ace in the Hole” the coal lobby would have
everyone believe. That’s due to
the proverbial “black eye” not to mention the “black lungs” and other
problems that are inherent with “dirty coal.”
there may be a place for coal in America's energy future, coal must become
"clean" for America to value it as a possible energy resource. Plans
or building 18 new Coal fired power plants were cancelled in Texas last year due
to the fact that coal isn't clean, and utilities aren't interested in investing
the extra costs for building power plants that use "Clean Coal
Technology" or "Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle" power
plants that also now need to include "Carbon Capture and
Sequestration" technologies to remove the carbon dioxide emissions from the
stacks. Plans for many other coal fired power plants are being cancelled. And
even now, owners of coal fired power plants (pulverized coal) are switching from
coal, to biomass, and biomass gasification technologies, as the writing is on
our society relishes the thoughts of moving back to the caves, and using
candles, and foregoing our modern-day comforts, we need to move forward with
renewable energy technologies such as biomethane, as the alternative is power
shortages and blackouts.
believe biomethane represents the best and greenest of all biofuels. There are
no supply problems with biomethane, and we have a virtually unlimited supply for
using biomethane wherever natural gas is presently used as a fuel.
should be pointed out that biomethane is chemically no different than natural
gas from the "fossil fuel" form of natural gas or CH4.
one important distinction between biomethane and the fossil-fuel variety of
natural gas, is that the production and use of biomethane is “carbon
neutral” in that the greenhouse gas emissions from biomethane use do not add
any new net greenhouse gas emissions.
starts out as “biogas” but must be cleaned and purified before it can be
used as a renewable fuel. The
process of cleaning and purifying the biogas is called “biogas to biomethane.”
The impurities that are found in biogas include hydrogen sulfides,
siloxanes, and carbon dioxide. When the impurities are removed from biogas, it
is then referred to as biomethane and available for use as a clean fuel, just as
the fossil-fuel form of natural gas is used.
Biomethane reserves and supplies, unlike fossil-fuel natural gas, are virtually unlimited. Biomethane is produced from many sources including anaerobic digesters, wastewater treatment systems, landfills and most agricultural and forestry operations. Last year, the first Biomethane NGV refueling station was opened in Eugendorf, Austria. Like a gas station provides gasoline for cars, the the NGV Biomethane station in Eugendorf provides biomethane for NGVs (Natural Gas Vehicles). Presently, the station provides a blend of biomethane and natural gas. Eventually, they hope to provide 100% biomethane for natural gas vehicles. Companies and researchers in Germany and Austria have determined that “Cellulosic Biomethane” is the greenest of all biofuels, and the least expensive biofuel to produce. Germany and Austria are now planting vast amounts of a form of Kentucky Bluegrass which will be harvested for use in producing “Cellulosic Biomethane,” through anaerobic digesters and fermentation.
from around the world, starting in Austria, are finding that grasses such as
Kentucky Bluegrass are easily converted into biomethane as well as organic
fertilizer. Cellulosic Biomethane production doesn’t require the fermentation
of sugars or starches - as the first generation of liquid biofuels – requiring
grains and oilseeds from food crops. As the Austrian Cellulosic Biomethane
project shows, biomethane can be produced from a cellulosic biomass feedstock
like grass. Yield estimates from the Austrian Cellulosic Biomethane research
indicate that one natural gas vehicle can travel 10,000 to 15,000 miles on just
one acre of Kentucky Bluegrass that was processed into biomethane.
a Jan. 8, 2009 public workshop held by the California Natural Gas Vehicle
Coalition, they documented the superior benefits and potential of biomethane as
a clean, renewable energy resource. The
California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition stated that Biomethane should be
classified as a "Super Ultra Low Carbon fuel."
Super Ultra Low Carbon fuel is defined as providing at least an 82
percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions - based on the California Air
Resource Board’s analysis of biomethane from landfill gas.
has a carbon dioxide emissions intensity of only 11 as compared with:
67.9 for natural gas
95.8 for diesel
96.7 for gasoline
can displace and substitute the equivalent of 29% percent of all petroleum
diesel transportation fuel used - almost immediately.
to the California Energy Commission and the Biomass Collaborative, landfills,
wastewater treatment, and dairy waste sources - which are "developable
today" and can start producing Biomethane almost immediately, with low
investment/high returns, could yield 121 billion cubic feet of Biomethane. At
$8.00/mmbtu, that's a $1 billion market opportunity in California alone.
The 121 billion cubic feet of Biomethane equals about 860 million gallons
of petroleum diesel. California alone uses about 3 billion gallons of diesel
annually for transportation. Emerging biomass gasification and Biomethanation
technologies could more than double Biomethane supplies.
- like natural gas from "fossil fuels" - can be compressed or
liquefied. And using "Compressed Biomethane" is a significantly better
choice as a transportation fuel than traditional "natural gas."
is the "natural, natural gas" and is far better for the environment
and the economy than natural gas. Biomethane, when "vented" to the
environment, is 21 times more hazardous to the climate than carbon dioxide
emissions which are the only emissions (and water vaport) from compressed
natural gas vehicles' engines when used as a fuel.
we are reminded that Biomethane is the same chemical compound as natural gas:
CH4, and completely replaces and substitutes for natural gas. Engines, turbines,
boilers and every other natural gas appliance can use Biomethane without any
adjustments or modifications - just like natural gas.
supplies, as opposed to natural gas supplies from the fossil fuel industry, are
available in an unlimited supply.
forward with a “Biomethane Infrastructure” is the direction our country
needs to be moving as one of our fuel choices as we become energy-independent.
Every MCF of Biomethane that we use displaces about 8 gallons of gasoline
and creates jobs that will never be outsourced or downsized.
of the above information from the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition.)
Biomethane is the "Renewable Natural Gas"
The Nearly-unlimited Potential for Biomethane and Renewable Natural Gas
Sweden is now leading Europe and the rest of the world in the pursuit of cellulosic biomethane.
recent studies by researchers, professors and universities in Sweden, cellulosic biomethane
is significantly more economic and less energy intensive to produce today than
any biofuel (i.e.
If the U.S. were to similarly emphasize the production of cellulosic biomethane as Sweden is now doing, the U.S. could significantly increase the supply of Biomethane - a renewable, clean fuel with an unlimited supply.
can be produced from landfill gas, sewage and animal and crop waste. Besides supplementing
our existing natural gas supplies, Biomethane
would provide huge greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Based on an analysis conducted for the Department of Energy in the 1990's, it appears that at least 1¼ quadrillion BTUs of methane could reasonably be produced using exiting landfill gas to energy sites, wastewater treatment systems and animal waste sources (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) alone.
If the Biomethane produces in the U.S. were used for natural gas vehicles, it would displace approximately 10 billion gallons of gasoline, per year! This is 10 times the amount (1 billion gallons of gasoline) per year projected for natural gas (the fossil fuel) in the Annual DOE outlook.
Regarding Greenhouse Gas Emissions and
Biomethane/Renewable Natural Gas vs. Gasoline
In the U.S., it is now feasible to capture and use about 1.25 quadrillion Btu's of Biomethane from landfills, animal waste and POTWs (wastewater treatment systems) alone. This is equivalent to about 6% of all of the natural gas presently used in the U.S.
Benefits and Incentives of Biomethane:
The Federal Biogas/Biomethane Tax Credit:
Equal to 2.0 cents per KWH (approximately $5.66 per MMBtu) for electricity produced on-site from
All other uses of biogas and Biomethane in vehicles and producing electricity off-site) do not presently qualify for the Federal Biogas/Biomethane Tax Credit.
Biomethane & Synthesis
the Greenest of All Renewable Fuels!
is a near perfect fuel, and since Biomethane
represents the best of all biofuels in terms of Recycling Carbon, and has the
highest Net Energy Balance, and as
Biomethane technologies such as Anaerobic
Digesters and Biomass
Gasification development increases and becomes even more commonplace, one of
the fundamental questions is: what is the size of the potential biomass resource
supply in the U.S.?
In April 2005, the DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) co-published a report assessing the potential of the land resources in the U.S. for producing sustainable biomass: Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply. Looking at forestland and agricultural land, the two largest potential biomass sources, this study estimates that the U.S. can sustainably produce up to 1.3 billion tons of biomass feedstock by mid-century. This would be enough feedstock to produce 60 billion gallons of B100 Biodiesel and E100 Ethanol with today's technologies.
This study doesn't address the opportunities for Biomethane production from biomass feedstock or Biomass Gasification technologies. Some recent estimates indicate that Biomethane could replace up to 50% of present natural gas consumption in the U.S. and in some countries, such as Iceland, Biomethane already provides 100% of the natural gas requirements.
are many assumptions in the Billion Ton Study report that impact these
estimates, but we believe the estimates reasonably reflect the potential
availability and impact of biomass resources.
Of the total estimated resource, the study suggests that forestlands in the contiguous United States can produce approximately 368 million dry tons annually. This projection includes 52 million dry tons of fuelwood harvested from forests and woodlands, 145 million dry tons of residues from wood processing mills and pulp and paper mills, 47 million dry tons of urban wood residues including construction and demolition debris, 64 million dry tons of residues from logging and site clearing operations, and 60 million dry tons of biomass from fuel treatment operations.
Biomass to Biofuels
By "converting" biomass wastes – such as municipal solid waste, sewage sludge, crop residues, energy crops, and manure – into biofuels, this will resolve the energy, environmental and political problems in an economical and environmentally sound manner - that will produce over one million new jobs.
to Jeff Seisler, Director of the European Natural Gas Vehicle Association,
an outstanding potential as a multifaceted solution to multifaceted social
problems: urban and agricultural waste management, water purification, and clean
air. Urban and agricultural waste can be processed into usable methane, as can
the sewage during the water purification process. Cleaning and compressing the
gas for use in vehicles then provides cleaner air than petroleum-consuming
Continuing, Mr. Seisler states about Biomethane; "this environmental 'closed loop waste-to-energy-to-fuel used in vehicles that again truck the next load of waste to the energy processing plants-substitutes fossil fuels with a renewable resource and reduces greenhouse gases 100% as compared to over gasoline vehicles (on a well-to-wheel basis).
to Peter Boisen Chairman, of ENGVA, "various well respected European
research institutes now estimate more than three times better fuel output per
hectare of land used than if going for ethanol or biodiesel. Sweden currently
has a 51% Biomethane
and Switzerland 37%. France, Norway, Germany and Austria use smaller amounts for
vehicles. Iceland, completely without natural gas, uses 100% biomethane in its
NGVs," Boisen says. Continuing, Boisen adds, "China, India,
Korea, the Ukraine, Spain and Italy are other examples of countries now starting
up projects where Biomethane
will be used as a vehicle fuel."
"With the energy efficiency of the gas production process at 50% to 70% it's hard to think of a more socially acceptable and economic energy value for the transportation sector," Boisen says.
"Governments need to get out of their liquid fuel paradigm to refocus and balance their policies and communications to support the development of a Biomethane infrastructure. In Europe Biomethane has the potential to replace 20% of the petroleum consumed in the transport sector by 2030."
California and Sweden Sign Agreement to Jointly Develop
Biomethane and Other Renewable Fuels
Sacramento, California USA and Sweden
In a ceremony held at the Ministry of the Environment in Stockholm, representatives of the Kingdom of Sweden and the State of California signed an agreement pledging the two governments and their related industries to work together to develop bioenergy, with a particular emphasis on Biomethane.
“Through a strong working relationship between its industry and government, Sweden is showing how bioenergy can be developed in a cost-effective manner that benefits its economy and environment. We are extremely pleased to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will provide a basis for intensified collaboration between Swedish and California officials to develop a thriving bioenergy industry in California,” said Joe Desmond, Undersecretary for the California Resources Agency.
In particular, Sweden has been a global leader in terms of converting biowaste, largely agricultural material and residues, into usable Biomethane. This gas is then used to either generate electricity, residential heating, or as a transportation fuel.
More than 8,000 vehicles in Sweden are powered by a combination of natural gas and Biomethane. The vehicles include transit buses, refuse trucks, and more than 10 different models of passenger cars. There are more than 25 Biomethane production facilities in Sweden and 65 filling stations. The Swedish Biomethane industry has been growing at an annual rate of about 20 percent over the last five years.
According to the Swedish Gas Association, more than 50 percent of the methane used to power Sweden’s natural gas vehicles now comes from biological sources, up from 45% last year. Natural gas vehicle sales in Sweden are increasing at the rate of 25% per annum.
Sweden was motivated to develop its Biomethane industry because it has no natural gas reserves, to more efficiently manage its waste, and to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Accord. Since Biomethane is developed from methane sources that would normally release into the atmosphere, it’s considered one of the most climate friendly fuels. Methane (and Biomethane) is 21 times more reactive as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). Sweden is currently meetings its objectives and schedule as outlined in the Kyoto accord.
Biomethane is developed by heating up and breaking down biomaterials in an (Anaerobic Digesters) digester. Among other raw materials, Swedish operators feed their Anaerobic Digesters with slaughterhouse waste, swine manure, and even grassy crops. After the materials breakdown over a 20 day period, technology is then used to remove the impurities and produce Biomethane. Once cleaned-up, Biomethane is 98 percent methane and easily meets the Swedish and California pipeline standards.
The Memorandum of Understanding can be accessed on the California Resources Agency Web site: http://resources.ca.gov/press_documents/CaliforniaSwedenBiofuelsMOU.pdf
Biogas Plant Development with Anaerobic Digesters
Anaerobic Digesters recover valuable and toxic Biomethane from organic materials and prevents the Biomethane - which has a Global Warming Potential that is 21 times more harmful to our climate than Carbon Dioxide Emissions - from entering the atmosphere.
Biomethane, which we also refer to as "Renewable Natural Gas" is used as a renewable fuel for our cogeneration and trigeneration power plants. Alternatively, we may sell the Biomethane to a customer and transport it to them from our Anaerobic Digesters via natural gas pipelines.
We believe Anaerobic Digesters and Biomethane represent exciting opportunities for generating renewable natural gas and profits - for multiple reasons:
1. Anaerobic Digesters take an existing liability and waste (Biomethane) and convert it into an asset and " profit generator."
2. Anaerobic Digesters mitigate and reverse climate change and global warming by preventing Biomethane to escape into the atmosphere, which is one of the major causes of climate change and global warming.
Of all Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Biomethane is 21 times more harmful to the environment than Carbon Dioxide Emissions.
3. Anaerobic Digesters are vital for renewable energy production and helping our country's drive for energy independence.
4. EVERY wastewater treatment plant as well as ALL Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's) - IN EVERY COUNTRY - will soon be installing Anaerobic Digesters to prevent Biomethane from entering the atmosphere and help reverse climate change as well as for use as a renewable fuel. Or, they will be replacing their existing inefficient and inferior mechanical wastewater treatment plants, with our "Natural Wastewater Treatment" plants!
5. The country of Sweden is the global leader in Biomethane production. Sweden has identified the Biomethane opportunities and is converting biowaste derived from agricultural material and residues into usable Biomethane. The Biomethane is used to generate clean, renewable electricity, residential heating, and also as a transportation fuel. Biomass sources make up 45% of Sweden’s Biomethane. Sweden's Biomethane industry has been growing at an annual rate of around 20% over the last five years. Biomethane powers more than 8,000 transit buses, garbage trucks, and 10 different models of passenger cars in Sweden. Sweden now has more than 25 Biomethane production facilities and 65 filling stations. The country believes that since Biomethane is developed from natural, organic sources that would have been released into the atmosphere, that Biomethane is considered one of the most climate-friendly fuels. Biomethane is 98% methane and easily meets the Swedish and California pipeline standards.
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