Biogas, Biomass to new technology Gas

Electricity and heat produced from biomass with new gas production technology

On August 3, 2009, the Federal Minister of the Environment Sigmar Gabriel made approximately 3,5 million euros available to the technology platform for bioenergy and methane (TBM, [1]), within the framework of the federal environmental innovation program. With the help of a pilot project, the company TBM will implement for the first time a gas production process recently developed to produce electrical energy and heat from biomass. Thus, around 26.000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be saved. In addition, a research and development platform "BtG" (Biomass-to-Gas, [2]) is built on the same site, endowed with 1,1 million euros within the framework of the federal support program " Optimization of the energy use of biomass ”.

According to Sigmar Gabriel, “the energy use of biomass is a key factor in the practical implementation of the package of measures voted by the federal government in 2007 to combat climate change. We want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 compared to the 1990 level. Decentralized production of gas from biomass, intended to produce electricity and heat in a coupled manner, use raw materials more efficiently and generate fewer emissions ”.

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The company TBM will put into practice a technique recently developed by the solar energy and hydrogen research center (ZSW, [3]) of the Baden-Württemberg region. In comparison with the biomass installations currently in operation, a new material used as a fluidized bed [4] and a different operating method making it possible to produce a gas rich in hydrogen, will be implemented. Calcium oxide used as a fluidized bed contributes to reducing the amount of CO2 and tar contained in the gas. In addition, the use of reduced temperatures allows the use of wood residues and thus the high demands on the site, in the immediate vicinity of the Swabian Alb biosphere reserve, are taken into account.

With the research project, possibilities of non-polluting use of the gas produced AER [5] will be studied, in particular for the additional production of hydrogen and to replace natural gas. In addition, the possibilities of higher efficiency production will be explored.

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The two projects will be supported within the framework of the initiative to combat climate change initiated by the Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU). The Land of Baden-Württemberg is participating in the research project to the tune of 1,3 million euros and is investing an additional 500.000 euros in the construction of the demonstration facility.

- [2] BtG: Biomass-to-Gas, liquid synthetic fuel. The Btl route comprises three main stages: the conditioning of the biomass (pyrolysis or torrefaction), the gasification and the treatment of the synthesis gas, and the synthesis of the fuel itself according to the Fischer-Tropsch reaction.

- [4] Fluidized bed: a fluidized bed is made up of a set of solid particles crossed from bottom to top by a fluid whose flow rate is such that the friction of the fluid on the grains balances their weight. The particles are set in motion and undergo many interactions, but their mean barycentric motion is zero.

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- [5] AER: Absorption Enhanced Reforming

Source: BE Germany

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