Assessment of technologies and scenarios for biogas management in Denmark

Conference Dates

June 5 – 10, 2022


Biogas production via anaerobic digestion of organic waste is a mature technology, which provides treatment of organic waste and the production of renewable energy (Al Seadi et al., 2013). Biomethane obtained from biogas upgrading can be injected into the natural gas grid, and thus contributes to reducing the dependency on natural gas. CO2 obtained from biogas upgrading is considered a waste product (Sun et al., 2015) and is emitted to the environment. There are however other utilization options for this biogenic CO2 stream. After the upgrading step, such CO2 can instead be captured and stored (carbon capture and storage, CCS), or captured and utilized (carbon capture and utilization, CCU). Recent studies have shown the potential benefits of capturing and storing CO2 from waste incineration (Bisinella et al., 2021) or utilizing captured CO2 from waste incineration for the production of chemicals and fuels (Christensen and Bisinella, 2021). CCS applied to CO2 from biogas would allow a negative carbon flow (Pour et al., 2017), while CCU would allow avoiding the production of chemicals and fuels from fossil sources. Alternatively, CO2 obtained from biogas upgrading can be utilized in power to gas (PtG), for example, coupled with water hydrolysis in a methanation process (PtCH4) to form synthetic natural gas (SNG). These alternative utilization options for biogenic CO2 from biogas, entail a sequence of different technologies, which in turn depend on different use and recovery of energy. And decision making between best management options requires systematic life-cycle thinking. In turn, results are also strongly dependent on the energy system in which the technology configurations are set to operate. The aim of this presentation is to summarize the main findings of a large study that applied life cycle assessment (LCA) to systematically assess alternative options for the management of biogas in Denmark. The study compared conventional management scenarios (e.g. biogas combustion with energy recovery) to scenarios with CCS, CCU and methanation. The study focused on different technological configurations, for example modelling different technologies for biogas upgrading (amine scrubbing, water scrubbing and membrane permeation), for a total of 17 scenarios. The scenarios were assessed in different energy systems in which the technologies may operate. The novelty of the study resides in the detailed and stringent modelling of the technological configurations and the systematic approach used to compare and assess scenarios. Moreover, the study contextualizes and discusses the implications of the results for Denmark and its climate goals. References Al Seadi, T., Drosg, B., Fuchs, W., Rutz, D., Janssen, R., 2013. Chapter 12: Biogas digestate quality and utilization, in: The Biogas Handbook: Science, Production and Applications. Woodhead Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1533/9780857097415.2.267 Bisinella, V., Hulgaard, T., Riber, C., Damgaard, A., Christensen, T.H., 2021. Environmental assessment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a post-treatment technology in waste incineration. Waste Manag. 128, 99–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2021.04.046 Christensen, T.H., Bisinella, V., 2021. Climate change impacts of introducing carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) in waste incineration. Waste Manag. 126, 754–770. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2021.03.046 Pour, N., Webley, P.A., Cook, P.J., 2017. A Sustainability Framework for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) Technologies. Energy Procedia 114, 6044–6056. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1741 Sun, Q., Li, H., Yan, J., Liu, L., Yu, Z., Yu, X., 2015. Selection of appropriate biogas upgrading technology-a review of biogas cleaning, upgrading and utilisation. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 51, 521–532. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.029

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