The University of Hohenheim inaugurates its biogas laboratory

The production of electricity from biomass is currently experiencing a boom comparable to that of wind power. Since August 1, 2004, the law on renewable energies guarantees operators of biogas installations 20 euro cents per kilowatt hour.

Thanks to its new biogas laboratory, the University of Hohenheim (Baden-Württemberg) is showing how such installations can be designed and operated even better in the future. Biogas plants were producing just 65 megawatts at the end of the millennium. They are expected to produce nearly 1000 by the end of next year. And the number of installations should, according to the professional biogas association (Fachverband Biogas), increase from 2500 to 4000.

In these installations, the current is produced more or less from waste: slurry, herbs or other plants. "Thanks to guaranteed prices for the next twenty years, it is a lucrative business for many farmers," explains Thomas Jungbluth, director of the institute for agricultural technology at the University of Hohenheim. "Thanks to this laboratory, we want to develop and experiment a new generation of efficient installations" explains Hans Oechsner, the
director of the national institute of building and agricultural machinery. With 28 reactors, the installation makes it possible to simultaneously test different biomass materials with different devices and methods. The reactors are also filled under the control of a machine and the
The amount of gas produced is automatically captured by a computer.

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contacts:
- Dr. sc. Agr. Hans Oechsner - Landesanstalt fur Landwirtschaftliches
Maschinen- und Bauwesen - tel: +49 711 459 2684, fax: +49 711 459 2519 -
email :
oechsner@uni-hohenheim.de
Sources: Depeche IDW, University of Hohenheim Press Release,
06/12/2004
Editor: Nicolas Condette,
nicolas.condette@diplomatie.gouv.fr

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