RNG-The renewables all-rounder

Biomethane upgrading opens up a promising future market for the biogas industry. With injection into the public natural gas grid, the green all-rounder is perfect for the decentralised supply of energy, offering a long-term replacement for fossil natural gas and driving the energy transition forward. What’s more, the biomethane manufactured in the gas upgrading plant has the same properties as natural gas, being just as flexible in its usage and easier to store than other energy sources. Plus, it’s renewable.

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Anaerobic digestion of organic materials creates a gas mixture composed of methane and carbon dioxide. To upgrade the biogas to natural gas-quality biomethane, the crude gas is first purified and compressed. The membrane technology we use then exploits the different sizes and permeation speeds of the two kinds of gas molecules involved: since carbon dioxide molecules are smaller than methane molecules, they can migrate through the membrane much more quickly. As a result, the methane remains on the high-pressure side, while the CO2 molecules in the biogas pass through. Gas upgrading with membranes needs neither chemicals nor water nor any other resources.

The starting point for producing biomethane doesn’t have to be biogas, however. After a preliminary purification stage, gas from landfill and wastewater treatment plants can also be used to produce biomethane.

The biomethane produced is the all-rounder among renewable energy sources, and can replace fossil fuel-based natural gas anywhere it is used. On the following pages, you can find out about the many uses for this valuable and renewable natural gas, and how it can play a part in an environmentally-friendly energy supply system.

Looking for a strong partner for biomethane?

From pretreatment in the form of raw gas purification, efficient gas upgrading (including after-sales service) to final gas utilization, we offer you customized solutions along the entire value chain. Learn more about our highly efficient EnviThan technology.

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The advantages of biomethane at a glance:

  • INTEGRATED APPROACH
    From the pretreatment of your raw gas, gas upgrading into biomethane, various gas utilization options (bio-LNG, bio-CNG, electricity, heat and CO2 liquefaction) to comprehensive after-sales service, our EnviThan concept offers you a tailor-made solution along the entire value chain.
     
  • SIMPLE, COMPACT, AND MODULAR DESIGN
    The EnviThan biogas upgrading system is not only simple and robust, but also compact and space-saving. The components for compression, gas tempering, condensation, filtration and gas separation are installed in one container. Thanks to its modular design and pre-testing at our factory, the technology can be set up quickly and easily on site. In addition, it can be adapted to different quality requirements and performance capacities of the respective gas distribution systems or applications and boasts very low maintenance costs. In addition, the modular design of an EnviThan plant offers performance reserves, allowing flexible expansion of the plant at a later date.
     
  • STRONG PARTNER
    For the membrane process, we equip our treatment plants with SEPURAN® Green modules from Evonik Industries. The highly selective hollow fiber membranes purify the raw biogas produced in the biogas plants from about 50 to over 97 percent by volume, which is particularly pure compared with other technologies. The successful cooperation between EnviTec and Evonik is reflected not only in the fact that we are one of the strongest customers for Evonik’s proven modules, but also in the fact that EnviTec is the only company in the world to conduct research and development for this innovative membrane technology together with Evonik in its own gas treatment plant.
     
  • QUICK CONTROLLABILITY and SHORT START-UP TIME
    EnviThan gas treatment plants are equipped with a large number of sensors to guarantee optimum process analysis and evaluation. Quality fluctuations, e.g. in the raw gas quality or due to external influences, are immediately located and can be precisely regulated. This ensures a constant feeding quality. Our gas treatment plants have short start-up times and, thanks to their excellent controllability, can be quickly adapted to changing volume flows. This guarantees the simple and flexible operational management of EnviThan plants.
     
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY
    The three-stage interconnection of the membranes and the plant design optimized by EnviTec result in a very low double compression of less than 30%. This significantly reduces the energy demand compared to other interconnections and at the same time leads to a very low methane loss.
    The extremely high methane yield of more than 99% leads to a maximum energetic utilization of the input materials. In addition, neither chemicals nor water or other auxiliary materials are required for gas upgrading. Most of the heat generated during processing can be recovered and utilized. This makes EnviThan cost-effective and environmentally friendly compared with other methods, since it produces neither wastewater nor emissions.
     
  • DIVERSE REVENUE-GENERATING OPPORTUNITIES
    Demand for sustainably produced LNG is growing. When biomethane, which is produced and liquefied from waste materials according to the REDII directive, is used as bio-LNG in heavy-duty transport, additional revenue opportunities arise through certificate trading. Membrane technology already delivers high-purity CO2 due to the process, which can thus be marketed as a second product gas.
     
  • OPTIMUM QUALITY AND MAXIMUM SAFETY – MADE IN GERMANY!
    Quality is the top priority at EnviTec Biogas. To guarantee a high standard, all EnviThan plants are designed and manufactured at our site in Saerbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia. We only work with selected suppliers whose quality understanding is in line with ours, and we already have long-standing business relationships with them.
     
  • MANY YEARS OF EXPERTISE
    In addition to the high efficiency and technical quality of gas upgrading, the many years of international experience in the construction of biogas plants is yet another reason why customers around the world put their trust in EnviTec. Germany, England, France, China, Estonia, Denmark, the US – EnviThan is conquering gas upgrading markets worldwide. Learn more about our international references here. 
     
  • FINANCIAL RELIABILITY
    EnviTec Biogas has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007. The strong financial background of the EnviTec Group offers financial reliability for investors, customers and partners. Our high standards of reliability are also reflected in our business model: nvestments in our own, self-operated plants enable us to continuously develop and optimize our technologies and thus offer our customers high reliability and efficiency in plant operation.

Envithan biogas upgrading

stunningly simple and flexible.

To feed biogas into the natural gas network or use it as fuel, it must be upgraded to natural gas quality. That’s why our answer to the requirements of the future is EnviThan – our integrated solution from organic waste to the gasoline pump!

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Biomethan - the all-round talent

In terms of economics and climate technology, biomethane is now the most cost-effective and climate-friendly fuel for advancing climate targets and the transformation of transport in Germany and throughout Europe. The all-rounder is almost CO2-neutral, storable and thus continuously available and therefore of interest not only for the transport sector!

In addition, the all-rounder can be used wherever fossil natural gas was previously used: This includes CHP applications as well as on-demand power and heat generation or material use in the chemical industry.

This makes biomethane an important building block in the energy transition.

Advanced fuel

The advantages of bio-LNG (liquefied natural gas) and bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) as a CO2-neutral fuel are obvious: In the transport sector alone, CO2 savings of up to 200 percent are possible with the use of biomethane compared with fossil fuels.


As a plant manufacturer, we are therefore opening up a new frontier with the construction of Germany’s first integrated bio-LNG plant, which will both make heavy-duty transport greener and benefit biogas plant operators. After all, with the greenhouse gas savings required in the German fuel mix by the Renewable Energy Directive RED II, green fuel production is being pursued ambitiously for the first time. Fuel distributors, for example, are obliged to reduce their TGH emissions by 25 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

We offer you the opportunity to continue to operate your existing biogas plant economically after the government subsidy ends by selling your biomethane or liquefying it into bio-LNG.

Heat

To increase the share of renewable heat to 14 percent in 2020, biomethane use in coupled power and heat generation is currently one of the most sustainable technology options. The use of biomethane in heat-only applications is a sensible alternative, particularly where other renewable technologies or energy demand reduction measures are not applicable to the required extent due to construction constraints.


Biomethane heat can be used in different ways. Typical consumers include the plant operator’s residential and commercial buildings, residential buildings supplied via heating networks, and public facilities, as well as greenhouses or commercial and industrial operations. This makes biomethane a cost-effective and efficient renewable option in the heating market.

Electricity

To ensure a secure power supply, electricity supply and demand must be balanced at all times. This requires that the necessary secured (generation) capacity is available at any given load time.


With a decline in power generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power, alternative solutions are needed to provide this power. Flexible power generation capacities that can react quickly to changes in power generation from fluctuating renewable energy sources and take over the tasks of securing the power supply are ideal for this purpose. The use of biomethane can provide relevant system services based on renewable energies and reduce the need for fossil capacities.
 

CO2 recovery

The CO2 produced during gas upgrading can be further utilized and, for example, liquefied. The carbon dioxide, already highly purified in the membrane process, represents an interesting additional source of income for operators and can be used in a wide variety of industries (e.g. the food industry, greenhouses, firefighting or cooling systems).

Many possibilities – one contact: EnviTec!

No matter which sustainable solution you choose, we offer you comprehensive expertise in all aspects of raw gas production and treatment, planning, customized construction of gas treatment plants, and the diverse uses of biomethane. We also provide our customers with 24/7 after-sales support through our own on-site service team. This means that we are available around the clock and offer all capacities from a single source.