Biogas upgrading system begins operations in France

By MT-Energie | July 24, 2014

The first of eight Gas-to-Grid (G2G) projects in France built by MT-Energie, a leading European provider of anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas upgrading systems, has started its injection of purified bio methane into the French gas grid. MT-Energie has also officially inaugurated the largest biogas upgrading plant with gas injection into the German grid ever built by the company.

Behind the eight G2G projects in France are a group of farmers from the Champagne region, south of Paris, who decided to become energy entrepreneurs last year. Every single triple-tank facility is designed for a gas treatment capacity of 250 Nm3, which is equivalent to an electrical capacity of around 500 kW. The first plant overcame its mechanical and biological commissioning in less than one month. By the end of 2016 the eight projects will inject over 10.5 M Nm3 per year of bio-methane into the French grid.

Biogas is produced through the anaerobic digestion of agricultural residues and cover crops and is then purified through a gas separation process which uses Evonik membrane modules. The technology is supplied by MT-Energie in conjunction with its sister company MT-Biomethan.

MT-Energie bio-methane expert, Timo Vaske, explains the reason why anaerobic digestion is more and more driven by the production of bio-methane and not only electricity. “Opting for biogas upgrading to bio-methane can be a profitable alternative to traditional CHP concepts, producing only electricity. Some countries, such as Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, are recognizing the contribution of AD to gas self-sufficiency, by issuing favorable incentives. In some cases, for example in the eight French projects, the electrical grid connection was also not suitable for the power produced, while the connection to the gas grid was carried out without problems,” Vaske said.

The largest biogas plant with gas injection, built by MT-Energie, is also leading the way. The client is SuedZucker, the largest sugar producer in Europe, based in Leipzig, Germany.

The plant processes maize, sugar beet pulp, alfalfa and whole crop silage and consists of four solid feeders, two secondary digesters, five residue storage tanks and a gas treatment facility with a capacity of 1,400 Nm3 per hour.

A total of approximately 12.2 million m3 of biogas per year are produced in the new biogas plant. The energy generated is enough to power about 6,000 households and 2,000 households with heat.