Netherland energy research center tests biogas technology

By Anna Austin
Web exclusive posted June 27, 2008 at 1:05 p.m. CST

The Energy Research Center of the Netherlands will host an opening ceremony Sept. 4 to celebrate the completion of a new pilot-scale gasification plant. The inauguration will be performed by Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Jacqueline Cramer. The celebration will also include a tour of the facility and a reception.

The 800 kilowatt Milena gasifier will be capable of converting feedstocks into biogas with great efficiency. After cleaning, this gas can be used to generate power with gas engines, gas turbines or fuel cells. It can also be converted into green gas which has the same properties as conventional natural gas and is carbon dioxide neutral. The next step for the center will be commercial scale development of the technology.

Construction of the Milena pilot plant began in 2007. It will use an indirect gasification process to separate the combustion and gasification. The process includes internally recycling the end product char to the combustor with the bed material, where it is burned with an excess of air and heating of the bed material. The bed material is then recycled back to the riser, where the gasification takes place. The plant design removes the nitrogen present in the combustor from the product gas. The hot bed material provides the energy for the gasification reactions resulting in char, tars, and gas. The Milena plant will enable 100 percent fuel conversion by recycling cyclone ashes containing carbon, and the tars removed from the product gas. According to the ECN, the sustainability of the biogas produced from Milena is very high when produced from waste, such as roadside grass and demolition wood.

Upon achieving desired results, the ECN plans to construct a 10 megawatt pilot plant.

For more information on the Energy research Center of the Netherlands, visit