Potential for Green Hydrogen to Upgrade Biogas

WHAT IS THE BREAKTHROUGH

Calibration of the Potential for Green Hydrogen to Upgrade Biogas to Renewable Biomethane and Increase Biomethane Output by over 70% from a Biogas Facility: Utilising CO2 in biogas is serendipitous in that the system can use a cheap concentrated source of CO2 and function as an upgrading system converting biogas to biomethane that can use the existing gas grid. Biological methanation adds 70% to the output from a biogas facility and lends itself to existing digester systems

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

Ireland’s plans to have 70% renewable electricity by 2030, much of which will be offshore wind, could prove problematic on an island system. Green hydrogen from offshore wind is a facilitator of renewable electricity, reducing curtailment and constraint and is a form of chemical storage. Hydrogen is a difficult fuel due to its low energy density (12 MJ/mn3), impacting distribution, and due to its flammability and the lack of an industry. Utilising CO2 in biogas is serendipitous in that the system can use a cheap source of CO2 and function as an upgrading system converting biogas to biomethane that can use the existing gas grid. Biological methanation adds 70% to the output from a biogas facility and is a technology that lends itself to AD systems

HOW HAS IT BEEN TRANSLATED

A prototype of the sequential ‘ex-situ’ reactor system is under construction in the ERI lab, due for completion in H1 2020 at a cost of €350,000. A workshop relating to this research was attended by 50 industry stakeholders, and has led to an SFI ‘Zero Emissions Challenge’ project with Gas Networks Ireland and DePuy Synthes.

  • Voelklein, M.A., Rusmanis, D., Murphy, J.D. (2019) Biological methanation: Strategies for in-situ and ex-situ upgrading in AD. Applied Energy 235
  • McDonagh, S., Deane, J.P., Rajendran, K., Murphy, J.D. (2019) Are electrofuels a sustainable transport fuel? Analysis of the effect of controls on carbon, curtailment, and cost of hydrogen. Applied Energy 247: 716-730
  • Rusmanis, D. O’Shea, R., Wall, D, Murphy, J.D. (2019) Biological hydrogen methanation systems: overview of design & efficiency. Bioengineered, 10
WHO HAS BENEFITED FROM IT

Developers of wind farms, biogas facilities, grid manager, transport fleets, policy makers, scientists.