Description

The project
The Danish Biocat Roslev Project 1 (“The project”) encompasses key preparatory work required for the development of the first commercial scale bio-methanation system worldwide. Upon successful completion of Project 1, it is planned to install the system on the site of a modern anaerobic digester and biogas upgrading/grid injection facility near Roslev, Denmark, North of Skive in Jutland (Project 2, currently out of scope). The future system is planned to include a 8MWel Electrolyser linked to a biomethanation system with a capacity of 400Nm3/h CO2 conversion. The biogas plant and upgrading facility and its commercially successful operation is owned and operated successfully by Jens Christiansen (“Rybbjerggaard”), a partner in the project. The biomethanation system will be advanced from TRL 6 to TRL 8 through design and execution and fully integrated P2G system into the host facility with the capability of continuous operation.

Project 1 includes the following tasks:
- WP2: Evaluate and frame the regulatory environment in the Danish gas and electricity markets to create an environment that makes an economic operation of power-to-gas (P2G) plants possible.
- WP6: Analyse the market, develop a market model and strategy for Danish P2G installations
- WP3.1 and parts of WP 3.2: Carry out the necessary work to define the basic block diagram layout for the project, the definition of battery limits and the scope of work as well as to define a high-level process flow diagram and systems specification sheet. Also, investigate the heat integration system.

[Please note that for simplicity reasons, the project team has maintained the same work package numeration as used in the original proposal]

The challenge
Utility-scale energy storage is the biggest unresolved challenge of energy transition. At the same time, climate change due to high CO2 levels in the atmosphere is a top agenda point for most countries worldwide. Denmark is leading the pack when it comes to moving from a fossil-based energy system to 100% renewable sources, such as biogas and wind. While biogas plants are yet to find a way to cut down their CO2 emissions, wind farms require an economic perspective once they fall out of the subsidy scheme instead of premature decommissioning. Last but not least, the need for sector coupling is a precondition for a future highly efficient energy system, and high on the agenda of Danish policy makers. Power-to-Gas (“P2G”) holds the potential to deliver on all these challenges with a flexible storage medium that uses CO2 as the resource. Electrochaea (Figure 1) is the only company that has validated a biological methanation technology in an industrial prototype and that allows integration into and optimisation of existing renewable production facilities.

Innovation and solution
P2G is ideally suited to meet Denmark’s sustainability and renewable goals:
1. Optimization of biogas plants: Conversion and usage of the waste CO2 from biogas plants (40% of volumetric raw-biogas production). P2G uses CO2 that would be otherwise wasted, stores it in CH4 and thus makes it an excellent addition to biogas production facilities and other CO2 emitting processes. All in all, the biomethane production of the Rybjerggaard biogas plant in Roslev can be increased from 491Nm3/h by 522Nm3/h to 1.013 Nm3/h, storing up to 400 m³ of CO2 per hour. This happens without the use of further feedstock.
2. Re-use of on-shore wind turbines: P2G provides future use to existing wind turbines outside of the subsidy scheme by using them as primary source of electricity supply that is required for the P2G process. There is 12 500kW wind turbines close to the site that can be used – more wind turbines are in close proximity. In Denmark, over 2 GW of wind power will exit the subsidy scheme in the next 5 years.
3. Electricity grid load balance: P2G offers energy storage and ancillary services to the electricity grid and thus helps to cope with the inherent problems of intermittent electricity production such as grid congestion and curtailment.
4. Decarbonising the gas grid: P2G converts electricity and CO2 into methane and therefore adds to the Danish goal to completely decarbonise the gas grid until 2035. Currently around 8% of the Danish gas consumption is coming – mainly – from biogas sources. The methanation technology has the potential to increase that by around 60% using the CO2 available from the biogas upgrading facilities. The potential increases by large, if further CO2 sources and biogas plants that currently don’t do upgrading are factored in.

Electrochaea’s highly productive microorganism strain in combination with its unique high-pressure bioreactor design makes P2G outstandingly efficient. In its prototype installation in Avedøre, Electrochaea has confirmed that the advantageous high pressure (10 bar) and 65oC conditions in its bioreactor can be maintained in an industrial environment to produce grid grade biomethane. This constitutes the foundation for a long term competitive advantage. •Electrochaea.dk ApSis an SME addressed in Horsens, Demark•Founded in 2011 to develop and commercialize biological methanation in Denmark•Four employees including plant operators, engineer, and CEO•Owns and operates working demonstration plant (TRL6) in Avedøre•Secured 110m DKK in capital and 40m DKK in project support for tech. commercialization•Owned by ElectrochaeaGmbH from Germany with a support team of 17 employees (7 PhDs)•Skill sets: Microbiologists, biotechnologists, chemists, engineers, business development

Regulatory framework conditions
Technological development within the energy field is rapid. In consequence, regulatory bodies face the challenge to keep up in order to reap the benefits. The current Danish regulatory framework for gas and electricity was not designed for storage and sector coupling technologies making an economic operation of this relatively new solution difficult. The project will concentrate on applying the technology under the current regulatory model in which the technology can be pioneered as Denmark’s first commercial power-to-methane project that can provide valuable insights to the Danish energy sector. For a more complete roll-out of this and other P2G technologies a concentrated effort of Danish authorities is required to provide the necessary regulatory setting. Electrochaea will – together with the project partners, authorities and grid operators – work on evaluating and framing the regulatory environment in the gas and electricity markets to create an environment that makes an economic operation of P2G plants possible.

Job creator
In addition to all energy-related effects mentioned above, a country-wide roll out of P2G solutions will contribute for the Danish job market with 1.000 FTEs (full-time equivalents) during construction and 119 FTEs during operation. Project 2 will serve as a show-case on job creation on site.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date26/09/201831/08/2019

Funding

  • EUDP: DKK10,091,877.00

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Biogas
Gases
Methanation
Electricity
Wind turbines
Economics
Bioreactors
Energy storage
Methane
Innovation
Personnel
Engineers
Bioconversion
Gas plants
Climate change
Microorganisms
Farms
Wind power
Feedstocks
Sustainable development