Analysis and Assessment of Utilization Pathways of Biomass

  • Project no.1110
  • Duration 10/2004 - 10/2005

The study "Analysis and Assessment of Utilization Pathways of Biomass" commissioned by the Federal Association of German Gas and Water Industries (BGW) and the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) analyses selected applications of biomass in Germany focussing on the production of biogas.
The conclusion is drawn, that there will be interesting perspectives for biogas as an energy carrier in the future, especially through the consolidated application of energy crops as a raw material of fermentation processes. Additionally, there is an option of generation of natural gas through the gasification of solid biomasses, as wood. After conditioning and further treatment of the produced synthesis gas, biogenous gas in the quality of natural gas can be made available. The application possibilities of biogas can be extended, if it is purified and fed into the natural gas grid. Through this, new customer groups can be supplied, who no longer have to be situated close to a biogas plant.
New insights were gained concerning the future development of biogas potentials as well as the technical, economical and ecological aspects of the biogas production and feeding into the natural gas grid. Focussing the stationary applications heat and power generation, the use of biogas was compared with wood based technologies. As well, the mobile application of biogas as an alternative fuel was analysed. Furthermore, the basic conditions and restrictions for the feeding in of biogas into the natural gas grid were determined.
The study was coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute under participation of the Institut für Energetik und Umwelt (Leipzig), Fraunhofer Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik (Oberhausen) and the Gas-Wärme Institut (Essen). It was executed in close collaboration with the task Force "Biogas" of the BGW and DVGW and was accompanied by the steering committee, consisting of representatives of the natural gas economy, the biogas economy and agriculture as well as representatives of federation and national ministries.
The summary of the study is published in German and can be downloaded as PDF file.