A team of scientists at the German Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Energy and Safety Technology are currently testing their latest invention, which holds the potential to give biogas plants a whole new image. What makes this plant much more efficient in renewable energy generation than any other existing one, is its ability to break down organic matter from numerous types of raw materials.
The materials that can go inside the biogas plant include sewage sludge, scrap wood, biomass waste even manure. The material is broken down into biochar and gases under high temperature inside an air-free environment. Some of the gas is collected and purified, while the remaining amount is condensed and turned into water and oil. The oil can then be converted into fuel, the biochar can be used as a fertilizer, and the gases can be used to generate electricity.
According to the scientists behind the project, this so-called biobattery requires very little investment for construction, yet it can generate a substantial profit. As it is, the technology provides numerous uses- from recycling of bio-materials, through generating power and fuel, all the way to producing valuable soil additive.
There is already a fully functioning pilot biobattery/biogas plant, which proves to be highly efficient. Although it is relatively small, it can already process as much as 30kg of bio-material per hour, converting more than 75% of the energy efficiency into energy sources of high quality.
The team is convinced that the biogas plant can be easily scaled up and expanded gradually according to demands. Currently, the concept is already put into practice by a company called Susteen Technologies GmbH, in collaboration with various cooperation partners.
Image (c) Fraunhofer