22 July 2019

Biomethane from biogas: AB launches BIOCH4NGE®, leading product in the strategic sectors of sustainable energy and green economy

Orzinuovi (BS) – July 19, 2019. Today, in the center of the Po valley and in the heart of Italy’s and Europe’s agricultural production and stockbreeding activities, AB presented BIOCH4NGE®, the solution designed by the multinational located in Brescia for upgrading biogas to biomethane. The event was held in AB’s production area, in the presence of Fabio Rolfi, Lombardy’s Regional Councilor for Agriculture, Food and Green Systems; Stefano Masini, Head of the Environment, Land and Consumption Department at Coldiretti; Giovanni Garbelli, President of Confagricoltura Brescia and Piero Gattoni, President of the Italian Biogas Consortium (CIB).

The use and demand of biomethane, a natural and renewable fuel obtained through the biogas purification process, has seen strong growth both on the national and internationally market, also thanks to the latest EU incentives, which aim to promote the use of biomethane in the transport sector. Recent studies (e.g. “The optimal role for gas in a net-zero emissions energy system”, report published by NAVIGANT and GAS FOR CLIMATE in March 2019) certify the crucial role renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, play in cutting emissions. Such studies also underline the importance of infrastructures, including those that are currently operational, in boosting a total decarbonization at accessible prices in view of the EU targets for 2050. An estimated potential of about 270 billion cubic meters of renewable gas is expected to be fed into existing infrastructures by mid-century, for estimated savings of approximately €217 billion a year.

Currently, different biomethane upgrading technologies are available on the market, based on different chemical-physical principles related to gas separation. The BIOCH4NGE® solution presented today by AB relies on a membrane system, the most widely used in the world. It consists of specific polymeric materials that have a selective permeability, particularly useful in the CH4 and CO2 separation.  Biogas obtained from the anaerobic digestion system is purified (in order to remove water and pollutants). Once pretreated, the methane is separated from the CO2: this process makes it possible to obtain a specific biomethane with the desired characteristics for different uses, maximizing the recovery efficiency of CH4 (methane) from biogas.

“Biomethane applications are extremely synergetic with biogas plants, a sector in which AB is active with hundreds of plants around the world, representing an opportunity to boost technical-industrial development in line with market demands”, stressed AB President Angelo Baronchelli. “BIOCH4NGE® is the crowning achievement of our biomethane production sector. It represents the combination of our engineering, industrial and operational expertise, as well as a strategic choice to offer the latest technologies and the best high-efficiency solutions for the recovery of CH4 (methane) from biogas. It is indeed a valid and competitive alternative for clients who already have an operational biogas plant, as well as an interesting possibility of high-efficiency development for those thinking of entering this market, while paying attention to environmental and economic sustainability”.

Visit the BIOCH4NGE® website