Helsinki -- Within the Academy of Finland?s research programme Sustainable Energy, researchers looked at the use of biogas as a transport fuel. As a joint Finnish-Chilean effort, the researchers studied the upgrading of landfill gas into fuel. ?In recent years, interest in using biogas technology in the utilisation of industrial by-products for energy purposes has increased considerably. Some countries have already introduced this technology on a large scale, says Professor Jukka Rintala, the principal investigator of the project.
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Biogas can be produced from many different materials ranging from biodegradable waste to energy crops. The biogas produced in this process is a versatile source of energy. It can be used for heat and electricity, be processed into vehicle fuel or fed into the natural gas grid. In addition, the residual material, the so-called digestate, from the process can be used as fertilizer or soil conditioner,? Rintala explains.
Methane derived from biogas has been shown to be one of the most suitable candidates for use as biofuel, thanks to its sustainable production chain. Methane also meets the EU?s criteria for sustainable biofuels, which will take effect in a few years? time. Rintala: ?Biogas can be used as a biofuel once its methane content is raised above 95 per cent. In our research, we used water absorption, which yielded a methane content of 80?90 per cent. The rest is carbon dioxide and nitrogen.?
Nitrogen does not cause any damage to car engines, but it does lower the energy content of biogas. To reach a higher methane content through this process, we should prevent the access of nitrogen in the gas collection system in the landfill. Carbon dioxide does not damage engines either, but it lowers the energy value of biogas, says Rintala.
Rintala would like to see more research on the effects of process parameters on the costs of biogas upgrading and the effects of pressurisation on compound removal. As a rule, the only criterion for biomass is that it can be broken down by microbes under oxygen-free conditions. Of course, the composition of feedstocks does affect the composition of the biogas produced and also the chosen method of purification. Landfill gases are generally thought of as being the most difficult ones to upgrade into fuel.? Quelle: Academy of Finland
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