Hydrogen made of excess wind power converts biogas from wastewater slurry into green natural gas. New Danish energy venture for approx. DKK 100 million shows how to integrate the energy system of the future.
Wastewater slurry and excess wind power are now turned into green gas in Avedøre.
Today, the ‘Power-to-Gas BioCat’ project (P2G-Biocat) received DKK 27.6 million from the research fund ForskEL, and together with a sister project at Renseanlæg Avedøre, an international-scale demonstration plant will now be realised.
The two projects, which including the self-financing amount to DKK 100 million, will demonstrate how biogas and electricity are turned into methane. The contract with the company Electrochaea.dk ApS and the consortium behind the company was signed at Energinet.dk’s head office in Fredericia.
Now we will finally create the link between Denmark’s abundance of wind power and production of eco-friendly gas to the Danish gas grid. The integration is a quite necessary piece of the puzzle, when we are going to transform the energy systems and phase out the coal, oil and the natural gas system in the long term, says Kim Behnke, Head of Environment, Research and Development at Energinet.dk.
The growth in wind power in Denmark has reached a level where Denmark’s total electricity consumption is covered by wind for many hours. In December 2013, 55% of the total Danish electricity consumption came from wind, and for several days, the coverage was more than 130%.
More green energy sources are needed to ensure a stable supply of electricity and heat to the Danes, when the wind is not blowing, and it is no problem for the many Danish CHP plants to use gas from green sources.
At Renseanlæg Avedøre, Electrochaea is now building a 1 MW electrolysis plant, where electricity from wind power and water is converted into hydrogen. Hydrogen is used for upgrading biogas before it is injected into the natural gas grid.
The wastewater treatment plant in Avedøre makes biogas from decomposition of wastewater slurry. In addition to methane, biogas also contains CO2, and therefore it cannot be sent to the Danish gas customers through the natural gas grid. However, a new biological process, where microorganisms and hydrogen convert CO2 to methane, is upgrading the biogas.
At the same time, the sister project is testing a new technology for chemical upgrading of biogas. Excess CO2 from this process can also be converted into methane in the P2G BioCat project.
The technology from Electrochaea has already been documented and tested at Foulum test centre under Aarhus University and has delivered impressive results for efficient upgrading of biogas.
The electrolysis plant is made by the company Hydrogenics, and the operation will be offered in the market for balancing in the electricity system by NEAS Energy. It will ensure optimum use of the wind power. The upgraded methane is delivered to the local HMN gas grid and is traded by HMN Gashandel at general terms. Ole Albæk Pedersen, President and CEO of HMN Gashandel A/S, is pleased to be part of a project that combines hydrogen from excess wind and excess CO2 from biogas and gives more green gas to the company’s consumers.
In our opinion, the solution is a matter of using the advantages of the different energy systems, including the great flexibility and capacity of the gas grid, which already has been paid for, he says.
Insero Business Services is also included in the project, and Audi from Germany is planning to participate. The P2G BioCat project costs approx. DKK 50 million; the remaining amount comes from Electrochaea and the consortium behind.
The sister project, which demonstrates new technology for biogras upgrading, costs approx. DKK 45 million and is headed by HMN. It has just received approx. DKK 20 million from the Danish Energy Agency’s EUDP programme (energy-technological development and demonstration programme).
The projects in Avedøre are expected to attract numerous guests who want to see one of the green energy solutions of the future.
Together, the two projects will make one interconnected, international-scale demonstration plant, and it will deliver qualified suggestions to the P2G solutions of the future, says Kim Behnke, Energinet.dk.
At Renseanlæg Avedøre, Jens M. Prisum, Technical Director at Vores Rens A/S is pleased with hosting the demonstration plant.
As part of making our treatment plants CO2 neutral, we have an objective of increasing our biogas production considerably in the coming years. We are therefore very proud to participate in this exciting project, and we look forward to implementing the results at Renseanlæg Avedøre and our other plants, he says.
Caption: Signing of the contract by Peder Ø. Andreasen, President and CEO at Energinet.dk