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Biomethane from Biogas – Developments Which Took Place in 2017

The biggest buzz in the Anaerobic Digestion Industry today globally is undoubtedly in creating Biomethane from Biogas. In this article we look back at the important summer of 2017, by continuing to publish below, an article posted at that time.

This was the year in which the substantial role in decarbonising transport which biomethane production can provide became very apparent. The UK biogas industry trade association ADBA (Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresoures Association), made it abundantly clear that they and others too hold that belief, and are demonstrating the value of this emerging technology, through their actions.

In particular, on 27 July ADBA came out strongly in support of biomethane from biogas, in the article summarised below: (Not: We have added additional articles which follow, also making the same point.)

Biomethane must be central to Clean Air Strategy – ADBA – Oxford Prospect

biomethane busImage: Bio-Gas bus

Biomethane is a low-carbon transport fuel produced by anaerobic digestion (AD), producing biomethane from biogas is a natural process that breaks down organic wastes and purpose-grown crops to create a biogas that can then be upgraded to create a methane-based fuel. The UK AD industry has sufficient capacity today to produce enough biomethane to power the UK’s entire bus fleet, and the use of biomethane for buses and HGVs has increased in recent years in response to concerns over the cost of fossil-fuel-based fuels and their negative impact on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. In May, Nottingham City Transport’s unveiled a new £17m double-deck ‘Bio-Gas’ bus fleet, the largest of its kind in the world.

ADBA’s call to arms comes as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has today published its plan to deliver nitrogen dioxide compliance in UK towns and cities, part of a wider Clean Air Strategy due to be published in 2018. via Biomethane must be central to Clean Air Strategy – ADBA – Oxford Prospect

However, in just these last 30 days their have been many other news stories which show just how fast biogas plants, which produce biomethane from biogas, are becoming more than just raw biogas producers coupled with electrical power generators which deliver power 24/7 into power grids. To make this point we have included a flavour for a selection of those articles that interested us most below:

Tata Motors develops country’s first biomethane bus

Tata Motors has developed country’s first Bio-CNG (bio-methane) bus which was unveiled recently at a bio-energy programme, ‘Urja Utsav’. The firm, which is India’s largest commercial vehicles manufacturer, said the bio-methane engines could be used in LCV, ICV and MCV buses.

Chris Huhne with the Bio-Bug
Chris Huhne with the (biomethane powered) Bio-Bug car

At the Urja Utsav held in Pune’s Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Tata displayed three engines, along with the lead model — Tata LPO 1613 with 5.7 SGI NA BS-IV IOBD-II compliant bus.

The event, which was organised by the government, was attended by Minister of State (Independent) for Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and MoS (Independent) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal.

“The use of Bio-CNG will contribute in a positive manner to the Smart Cities proposition of keeping them clean and is a good option for wet garbage management,” Head of Commercial Vehicles Business in Tata Motors, Girish Wagh, said in a statement.

via Tata Motors develops country’s first biomethane bus

How farming giant seaweed can feed fish and fix the climate

Seaweeds can grow very fast – at rates more than 30 times those of land-based plants.

Because they de-acidify seawater, making it easier for anything with a shell to grow, they are also the key to shellfish production. And by drawing CO₂ out of the ocean waters (thereby allowing the oceans to absorb more CO₂ from the atmosphere) they help fight climate change.

The stupendous potential of seaweed farming as a tool to combat climate change was outlined in 2012 by the University of the South Pacific’s Dr Antoine De Ramon N’Yeurt and his team.

Their analysis reveals that if 9% of the ocean were to be covered in seaweed farms, the farmed seaweed could produce 12 gigatonnes per year of biodigested methane which could be burned as a substitute for natural gas.

The seaweed growth involved would capture 19 gigatonnes of CO₂. A further 34 gigatonnes per year of CO₂ could be taken from the atmosphere if the methane is burned to generate electricity and the CO₂ generated captured and stored.

This, they say:

…could produce sufficient biomethane to replace all of today’s needs in fossil-fuel energy, while removing 53 billion tonnes of CO₂ per year from the atmosphere… This amount of biomass could also increase sustainable fish production to potentially provide 200 kilograms per year, per person, for 10 billion people. Additional benefits are reduction in ocean acidification and increased ocean primary productivity and biodiversity.

Nine per cent of the world’s oceans is not a small area. It is equivalent to about four and a half times the area of Australia.

But even at smaller scales, kelp farming has the potential to substantially lower atmospheric CO₂, and this realisation has had an energising impact on the research and commercial development of sustainable aquaculture.

But kelp farming is not solely about reducing CO₂. In fact, it is being driven, from a commercial perspective, by sustainable production of high-quality protein.How farming giant seaweed can feed fish and fix the climate via How farming giant seaweed can feed fish and fix the climate – Reddit: Futurology

Now, I am taking a bit of licence here by including this summary because the author is using the term biomethane as being synonymous with biogas (as most people do in India – the commentator is an Indian Academic), however if, rather than using this energy as electricity it was used to provide CNG (compressed natural gas) also called liquefied renewable natural gas (RNG) it would be even more effective in reducing climate change.

The above is a Reddit comment which summarises the following article:

Bren Smith, an ex-industrial trawler man, operates a farm in Long Island Sound, near New Haven, Connecticut. Fish are not the focus of his new enterprise, but rather kelp and high-value shellfish. The seaweed and mussels grow on floating ropes, from which hang baskets filled with scallops and oysters. via

Waitrose (UK Supermarket Chain) to cut carbon footprint with more biomethane trucks

Waitrose has committed to quadrupling its number of biomethane lorries by the end of the year after finding they cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 80%.

Gasrec / Iveco biomethane truck
Gasrec / Iveco biomethane truck

The retailer is set to take its fleet of biomethane trucks from 12 to 49 in the next five months to cut back on its carbon footprint.

The lorries, which are currently used in the Midlands and northern England, have a range of up to 500 miles on a full tank.

The commitment came after a study by UK gas network Cadent found biomethane trucks emitted 84% less carbon dioxide than equivalent diesel vehicles. The fuel also emits 99% fewer nitrogen oxides.

The 14-month analysis of gas-powered vehicles filling up at a specialist station in Leyland, Lancashire – including Waitrose lorries – recommended compressed natural gas should be the “fuel of choice for HGVs in the future”.

via Waitrose to cut carbon footprint with more biomethane trucks

First biomethane vehicle refueling station opens in Italy

The first biomethane filling station for vehicles came into operation in early July. The facility is located at Montello SpA plant in Bergamo (Italy), which uses only the gas generated by the treatment of the organic component of the urban waste produced by 6 million inhabitants. According to the data provided by the company, a production of about 32 million cubic meters is expected per year.

Montello is also the first “carbon negative” plant in Italy. In addition, 38,000 tons/year of CO2 for technical and food use will be recovered from the generated biogas (made up of about 60% methane and 40% of CO2). The feeding of biomethane into the grid is a long-awaited event, since the Ministry of Economic Development introduced the first incentives for biomethane production from waste in December 2013.

via First biomethane vehicle refueling station opens in Italy


Biomethane Market to Record an Impressive Growth by 2025

The global biomethane market is on a growth trajectory mainly due to the green gas characteristic of biomethane. Biomethane is produced by the natural breakdown of organic matter, which includes agricultural waste, green waste, household waste, food industry waste, and even industrial waste. The process involves disintegration of organic material in an anaerobic environment to produce biogas, which is further purified to produce biomethane.

Methane production of cows vs grassA significant factor fuelling growth of the biomethane market is the high potential usage of biomethane in the automotive and power generation sector. The developed countries of the world are increasingly diversifying conventional energy production practices to include renewable sources for energy needs. The recently concluded Climate Change Conference in Paris has led many countries to include more renewables and cleaner fuels for energy production. In particular, the European countries have set targets to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2020 and to increase it to 80% by 20250 in the energy mix.

A report by Transparency Market Research forecasts the global biomethane market to reach a valuation of US$2,624.5 mn by 2025 increasing from US$1,485.4 mn in 2016 at a CAGR of 6.7% between 2017 and 2025.

via Biomethane Market to Record an Impressive Growth by 2025

Biomethane at Heart of UK Study of Low-emission Vehicles in Heavy-duty Cycles

Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon technologies, says global logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel Ltd will trial the effectiveness of low-emissions heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) operating as parts of large fleets with demanding-duty cycles. The vehicles to be tested are powered by liquefied renewable natural gas (RNG).

Funded in part by Innovate UK’s Low-Emission Freight and Logistics Project, the Reduced-Emission Logistics (RED-E-LOG) trial will see one of the UK’s largest fleet operators trial the effectiveness of dedicated (spark-ignited) gas and dual-fuel direct injection methane-diesel trucks in completing demanding-duty cycles for consumer brands such as Whitbread, owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, and Virgin.

via Biomethane at Heart of UK Study of Low-emission Vehicles in Heavy-duty Cycles | NGV Global

So, its been quite a month for biomethane!

There has been:

  1. Pressure on a major government to prioritize biomethane production, in preference to using biogas to make electricity,
  2. Major global companies like Tata and an a large UK Supermarket chain are voting for biomethane from biogas right now, by making their own real investment in the technology
  3. Expert Studies have once again shown the benefits to transport of using biomethane as the fuel of choice, and finally:
  4. Anaerobic digestion of seaweed is being proposed as a new source of biomass which can be digested to produce such abundant quantities of energy that ALL fossil fuel use can cease
  5. A report which says that the Biomethane Market to will record an Impressive Growth by 2025.


The wise investor will do well to consider investment in biomethane from biogas as a fuel of the future in which today's start-up companies may become tomorrow's corporate giants!

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    • Beisneri
    • November 2, 2018

    Hello, Neat post. My question is. How do you deal with solids/scum build up and how frequently does the system need to be cleaned out?

    • Kendrick
    • January 31, 2019

    I saw this headline, and thought it interesting but it is out of date now. Can you not make it clearer that the title refers of 18 months back and is hardly now what I would call news.

      • biogasman
      • February 13, 2019

      Kendrick: Your comment was noted, and we have updated the title. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • Gustav Riel
    • July 1, 2019

    Biomethane is again the fastest growing part of the biogas scene. Pl. suggest best use for the biomethane for the spanish biogas maker.

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