Injection of biogas, SNG and hydrogen into the gas grid

Next to wind and hydro power the power generation with biogas as fuel is an emerging technology. Today almost 6000 biomass digesters are in operation in Germany. Alas, only about 10 % of the co-generated heat is used on site. Therefore, upgrading and injection of biogas to the gas grid is a viable alternative in order to improve the overall energy balance of the fermentation based processes.

As an alternative to fermentation of high water content biomass (= biochemical gasification) the high temperature gasification (= thermochemical gasification) especially of lignin rich biomasses is hotly discussed in literature and there are already some gasification plants on stream in Europe. Product gases from these processes can be used for power generation analogically to biogas or they can be upgraded and catalytically converted into SNG. The processes necessary for the latter are more demanding than mere biogas upgrading and therefore up to now no commercial plant producing SNG via thermochemical gasification of biomass has been built. The main draw back of this technology is the limited availability of cheap lignin rich biomass resulting in uneconomical high SNG production costs. The steadily growing development of renewable energy sources, especially of highly volatile photovoltaic and wind energy, are responsible for increasingly growing problems with the electricity transmission grid as there are almost no means for storing electricity. Here the concept of methanation with hydrogen produced by water electrolysis with surplus electricity and a suitable carbon source like CO2 from biogas or other processes offers an attractive way for energy storage in the natural gas grid. Furthermore, this process together with gas turbine power plants offers a bidirectional link between the electricity grid with its low storage capacity and the natural gas grid with its high storage capacity. Future developments might aim at a direct injection of hydrogen from water electrolysis which is nowadays limited by the technological standards for gas distribution.

Copyright: © DIV Deutscher Industrieverlag GmbH
Quelle: GWF gas solutions International (April 2011)
Seiten: 11
Preis: € 11,00
Autor: Dr.-Ing Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Frank Graf
Dipl.-Ing. Manuel Götz
Dr.-Ing Siegfried Bajohr
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