Austria’s Experiences in Development of Bio-Gas Refinery Plants by Membrane Technology

  • Posted on: 11 June 2018
  • By: mmiltner
TitleAustria’s Experiences in Development of Bio-Gas Refinery Plants by Membrane Technology
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2015
AuthorsHarasek M
Conference Name12th International Conference on MEmbrane Science & Technology, Teheran, Iran

In many European countries, biogas production from organic waste, sewage sludge and agricultural residues has become very popular in the past years. More than 300 biogas plants are in operation in Austria. However, most of the produced biogas is currently utilized to produce heat for district heating purposes or to produce electricity and heat in so-called CHP plants. Due to higher prices for natural gas in combination with lower electricity prices with growing electricity production from wind turbines and photovoltaics, the production of bio-methane from biogas has become economically interesting. The use of gas separation membranes as the key biogas upgrading step for the separation of methane, carbon dioxide and water is an exciting alternative to conventional gas separation by pressure swing adsorption, water scrubbing and amine absorption. A successful biogas upgrading pilot project in Austria applying gas separation membranes at industrial scale has achieved much international attention – the author - as project manager – will provide an
overview of the achievements and obstacles during the technology implementation. Main drivers for further technology development are the reduction of specific energy consumption, increase of plant availability and improved partial load behavior. Recently, a full scale membrane biogas upgrading unit with installed capacity of 1200 m³/h biogas was connected to the Austrian natural gas grid, delivering more renewable energy to Austrian households – with the latest achievements in process design.