Harnessing the full potential of biomethane towards tomorrow's bioeconomy: A national case study coupling sustainable agricultural intensification, emerging biogas technologies and energy system analysis

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Here, we demonstrate the applicability of national strategies towards massive biogas deployment, through a case study Denmark. First, a variety of sustainable agricultural intensification measures to produce additional biomass resources were investigated; as a result, it was found that the biomass currently used in Denmark's biorefineries (including biogas) could be tripled without compromising soil carbon and inducing little to no land use changes. The degree to which these resources could be mobilized for the biogas sector was analysed through examining the extremes, here labelled as LOW and HIGH biomass-to-biogas scenarios. The resulting biomethane production was calculated considering three combinations of biogas production and upgrading technologies: (i) conventional biogas production and upgrading technologies; (ii) plants with prolonged retention time and conventional upgrading technologies and (iii) as in (ii), but upgrading via biological methanation of carbon dioxide in the biogas, using renewable hydrogen. These scenarios revealed a biomethane potential of 24–111 PJ y−1. The key finding of our study is that only the extreme deployment measures, in terms of biomass and technology, allowed to fulfill the emerging gas demands, namely buffering the deficits from fluctuating power and transport (light- and heavy-duty vehicles, urban buses, coaches), quantified at 95 PJ y−1. Yet, just harnessing the full sustainable potential of animal manure, straw and perennial grass allows to supply half of this demand. In the LOW and HIGH biomass scenarios, doubling the retention time brought an increased methane production of 20% (energy-wise), while this increase was 87% when methanation was added.

TidsskriftRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021

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