Biogas, from biological or thermo-chemical conversion, can be used to generate heat, power or transport fuels. The market is dynamic and the technology is complex, but the potential is significant. A complex matrix of policies and regulations are prevalent in this sector. We help navigate the complexities and have developed a number of bespoke products and packages for this sector.
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is currently the most common production method of biogas. AD is a biological process which involves the breakdown and fermentation of organic matter by micro-organisms in the
absence of oxygen. Biogas is produced, which comprises mainly methane (~60%) and carbon
dioxide (~40%). A variety of feedstocks can be used to produce
biogas through AD, including plant biomass (crops and residues), manure/slurry,
food waste, sewage sludge and industrial residues from food and drink production. The co-product of biogas production
through AD is digestate, a nutrient rich mass, which is used as a bio-fertiliser, to apply Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium back to land for agricultural production.
Alternatively, gasification is a thermo-chemical process that converts solid biomass feedstocks
such as wood and waste into carbon
monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This is achieved by reacting the
material at high temperatures (>700 °C), without combustion, with a
controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The resulting gas mixture is called
syngas (from synthesis gas or synthetic gas) or producer gas. Currently, there are only a handful of gasification facilities in the UK, but deployment is incentivised by the Goverment and is predicted to grow in the coming years.
Biogas is playing a key role in developing a low carbon
economy in its use as a renewable energy source. Biogas can be used to produce
heat and electricity through direct combustion in a CHP engine. Or it can be upgraded
to purified methane, by removing carbon dioxide, and either injected into the
national grid to heat homes, converted into a transport fuel, or become a feedstock for a
range of chemicals.
Policy and Incentives
Several regulations and financial incentives apply to biogas
production in the UK including the Renewables Obligation (RO) and the Feed-In
Tariff (FIT) for electricity. Also, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
supports heat production from biogas combustion and biomethane injection to the
NNFCC has acquired considerable experience over the years while
working with the European Commission and National Governments; policy makers;
developers; suppliers; and buyers to develop, implement and adhere to robust
policies and regulations across the entire bioeconomy.
We have worked with
industry to obtain evidence to inform policy decisions; and supported power
generators, technology developers and product manufacturers in understanding the
impacts of policy on their value chains, processes and outputs.
NNFCC monitors the AD Deployment in the UK, tracking operational and
planned developments and reporting progress, barriers and trends to the
industry and policy makers on a regular basis. This unrivalled market knowledge
sets us in a unique position to advise on strategic business planning
activities, future market direction and new development opportunities.
NNFCC also hosts the Official AD Information Portal (www.biogas-info.co.uk) and played a
pivotal role in the development of the AD Strategy & Action Plan in 2011.
Below is a list of relevant projects NNFCC has delivered in
For reports and our monthly review of news from the biogas
sector, see our publications store.