Sustainable Bioresource Assessment

Sustainable bioresource assessment is concerned with quantifying the total theoretical biomethane resource from substrates in Ireland using geographic information systems (GIS) to collect the most recent spatially explicit data available. This data is then used in optimisation models dependent on a number of input parameters. Models are developed for both biological and thermo-chemical pathways, including connections and synergies between the two. The research promotes the potential development of biomethane facilities in Ireland and facilitates in determining the most profitable digester and/or gasifier locations, in terms of net present value (NPV), with the intention of injecting biomethane into the natural gas grid. Economic evaluations such as the range in levelised cost of energy (LCOE) are calculated for facilities depending on the feedstock type, and plant size and location. This methodology informs policy makers and planners on the level of incentive required for biomethane for use in the heat and transport sectors.

Core Research Areas Include

  • GIS analysis of the substrate resource in a specific region
  • Running optimisation models to determine optimal digester and/or gasifier locations
  • Technology costs, NPV, LCOE
  • Determining level of incentive required for increased biomethane deployment
  • Estimating the biomethane resource in terms of total natural gas use

Ongoing Projects

  • Industrial collaboration with Gas Networks Ireland and ERVIA
  • Industrial collaboration with B9 Energy
  • Marie Curie International Training Network (ATBEST)
  • Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT)

Former Projects

  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) – Biogas Production from Novel Substrates
  • Teagasc Walsh Fellowship – Biomethane production from grass silage: laboratory assessment to maximise yields
  • Environmental Protection Agency “Biogas from Grass”
  • Bord Gáis Éireann & Irish Research Council Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) – Biomethane production from food waste and organic residues
  • Bord Gáis Éireann – Grass biomethane as a renewable transport fuel
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) – Project “Green Grass”
  • Higher Education Authority (HEA PRTLI) – Should we use indigenous biodiesel or grass biomethane as transport fuel in Ireland?