A European Union funded collaboration aims to develop a new solution to help accelerate the production of biomethane from biogas produced in anaerobic digestion (AD) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).
Validating a new technology
A European Union funded collaboration is aiming to develop a new solution to help accelerate the production of biomethane from biogas produced in anaerobic digestion (AD) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).
Called BIOUP (pronounced bio up), the project aims to promote wastewater as a “power-to-gas” solution to generate energy.
Funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through NextGeneration funds, the consortium brings together the University of Valladolid and CIEMAT as strategic partners, coordinated by ACCIONA from Spain.
One of the longer-term aims is for the solution to be implemented in other sectors, such as organic waste for urban environments.
The ambition is to validate a technology that can convert biogas generated from AD into biomethane, through the biological transformation of hydrogen produced by surplus renewable energy and carbon dioxide.
A report from the Global Biogas Association (GBA) estimated that adding AD treatment to centralized wastewater treatment facilities to generate biogas could help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 10 per cent.
While Europe now has over 1000 biomethane production plants and more than 40 per cent more compared to 2020, the still needs “relevant legislative support” to reach its potential.
How will the process work?
Biomethane generation will be done in one or two stages. Firstly, “in situ” meaning inside the digesters themselves. And secondly, “ex situ” in trickling biofilters or through a combination of both in situ and ex situ for integration into the gas network.
Also included in the blueprints is the construction of new water intakes, the laying of 200 km of distribution pipes with collectors and the installation of water points.
One of the wider objectives is to help wastewater treatment become more sustainable and energy efficient.
A longer-term aim is for the developed BIOUP solution to be implemented in other sectors, such as organic waste from urban environments.
“The final objective is to obtain biomethane with a high calorific value that improves the energy yields of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), and can be injected into the natural gas network if the appropriate quality is achieved,” said project coordinator Acciona.