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Organic waste into biomethane: Concepts for five European cities


Waste management is still a challenge for many European regions. However, there are possibilities for utilizing organic residues in a suitable way. Knowledge gained in the EU project “UrbanBiogas” will be presented today by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) during the “European Biomethane Workshop” in Brussels. The results of UrbanBiogas show how municipalities can transform their urban organic residues into the sustainable energy “biomethane”.

Mr. Hoffstede, group manager responsible for Biogas Plant Technology at IWES, stated „Biogas production from waste materials is a trendsetting technology that helps to solve waste problems in urban areas and is a great tool to help reach the EU 2020 targets”.

Biogas processing plant in Lidköping, Sweden

© Fraunhofer IWES

The UrbanBiogas project is supported by the Intelligent Energy for Europe Programme of the European Commission. The objective of the project is to promote the use of organic urban waste for biogas production, to develop individual and feasible Waste to Biomethane (WtB) plant concepts for the 5 European cities participating in the project: Abrantes (Portugal), Gydnia (Poland), Graz (Austria), Zagreb (Croatia) und Valmiera (Latvia).

„The biogas production and upgrading technology is available and operates reliably”, says the IWES expert for biogas upgrading and grid injection, Michael Beil.

Reliable Biogas Upgrading Technology

The employees of the responsible companies for energy and waste management in each of the five participating cities were trained by Fraunhofer IWES experts within the UrbanBiogas project. The training comprises not only technical biogas production and upgrading concepts but also project financing as well as a basic understanding of the whole biomethane value chain. “Together with the working groups of our project partners we could develop WtB concepts which will profit from the organic waste potential by being economically feasible”, concluded Mr. Beil at the end of the triannual project.

Partner cities in Portugal, Poland, Austria, Croatia and Latvia

All five partner cities will put the developed concepts into practice in the near future, which will be a valuable contribution to climate protection and to achieving the European targets for renewable energies. The Latvian city Valmiera for example will start to implement a biogas plant this year for € 1.5 million. The target is to use both the annual 7,000 tons of organic waste and 3,000 tons of green waste energetically for biogas production instead of composting it. The estimated produced energy of 3,000 MWh will meet the electricity demand of 800 private households.

European Biomethane Workshop informs about the project findings

Fraunhofer IWES experts share the findings of UrbanBiogas and discuss the project together with other European experts during today´s „European Biomethane Workshop“. Focus is also put on the development of the European biomethane market, its value chain and the efficient use of biomethane in the European Union. “German biogas plant manufacturers are searching for new markets to promote their technologies in Europe since the German biomethane market is currently declining.”, so M. Beil Fraunhofer IWES. Besides the outcome of the project UrbanBiogas, the results of two more projects „GreenGrasGrids“ and „Biomaster“ are discussed within the workshop.

Project page „UrbanBiogas“
Event page:

Contact person Fraunhofer IWES:

Dipl.-Ing. Uwe Hoffstede
Group manager Biogas plat technology
+49 561 7294-438

Dipl.-Ing. Michael Beil
Group manager Gas upgrading, injection and grids
+49 561 7294-421

Weitere Informationen:

Uwe Krengel | Fraunhofer-Institut

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