Biogas infrastructures from farm to regional scale, prospects of biogas transport grids

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The volume of biogas produced in agricultural areas is expected to increase in coming years. An increasing number of local and regional initiatives show a growing interest in decentralized energy production, wherein biogas can play a role. Biogas transport from production sites to user, i.e. a CHP, boiler or an upgrading installation, induces a scale advantage and an efficiency increase. Therefore the exploration of the costs and energy use of biogas transport using a dedicated infrastructure is needed. A model was developed to describe a regional biogas grid that is used to collect biogas from several digesters and deliver it to a central point. The model minimizes transport costs per volumetric unit of biogas in a region. Results are presented for different digester scales, different sizes of the biomass source area and two types of grid lay-out: a star lay-out and a fishbone lay-out. The model shows that transport costs in a fishbone lay-out are less than 10 €ct m-3 for a digester scale of 100 m3 h-1; for the star lay-out costs can go up to 45 €ct m-3. For 1800 m3 h-1 digesters, these values are 4.0 €ct m-3 and 6.1 €ct m-3, respectively. The results indicate that cooperation between biogas producers in collecting biogas by means of a fishbone lay-out reduces the biogas transport costs relative to using a star lay-out. Merging smaller digesters into a smaller number of larger ones reduces the costs of biogas transport for the same biomass source area.




Hengeveld, E. J., Bekkering, J., van Gemert, W. J. T., & Broekhuis, A. A. (2016). Biogas infrastructures from farm to regional scale, prospects of biogas transport grids. Biomass and Bioenergy, 86, 43–52.

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