World’s first demonstration of new, eco-efficient biogas purification technology

10 October 2017

The Terragr’eau regional anaerobic digestion site was selected for the world’s first demonstration of AE-Amine biogas purification technology.

40,000 tonnes of farm waste and biowaste converted to natural fertilizer every year—that’s what’s being planned by a partnership between the Evian Vallée d’Abondance Community of Boroughs, local farmers, and the town of Evian. When digested, this waste produces 1.9 million cubic metres of biogas, which must go through purification before it can be injected into the GRDF grid.

This purification yields a biomethane output of 100 Nm³/h from the processed biogas, which in turn produces 8000 MWh/year of energy, equivalent to the yearly heating consumption of 1200 inhabitants. All this would not be possible without the “investment in the future” programme sponsored by government agency ADEME.

Two innovations are at the core of AE-Amine:

  • An advanced thermal integration process, enabling almost total recovery of the heat used to heat the digesters in the amine scrubbing unit
  • A solvent that reduces the amine scrubbing system’s overall energy consumption by 20–30%

The results are telling: the biomethane productivity increase, combined with almost 50% reduction in electricity consumption, improves the plant’s overall profits by 15–20% for the planned size of installations.

We can also note a 70% reduction in the carbon footprint from purification, along with a 25–40% reduction in the carbon balance at the anaerobic digestion and biomethane production site when compared with alternative technologies.

The value recovery opportunities and the environmental benefits of the biomethane sector are guaranteed thanks to extremely pure (over 99.9%) biomethane and bioCO2 production.

The AE-Amine solution’s competitiveness and performance is greatly helped by the 2015 “Energy Shift for Green Growth” Act, whose objective is to inject 10% green gas into the grid, which is 60 times the volume on 31st March, 2017. This market has huge potential in Europe, with a 2030 forecast of 6 times the amount of biogas converted to biomethane.