Site-specific economic and ecological analysis of enhanced production, upgrade and feed-in of biomethane from organic wastes

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The present study analyses the cost structure and ecological performance of biomethane production and feed-in from organic wastes and manure in a site-specific approach for Upper Austria. The theoretically available quantities of biowaste and manure can feed representative biogas plant capacities resulting in relatively high biomethane full costs in the natural gas grid of at least 9.0 €-cents/kWh, which shows strong economies of scale when feed-in flows of methane from 30 to 120 Nm3/h are considered. From the ecological point of view small plant capacities are to be preferred since the environmental effect, i.e. the global warming potential (up to –22% of CO2eq), is lower in comparison to higher capacities as a consequence of reduced transport in the evaluated scenarios. To enforce the combined energetic use of the biowaste fraction, co-operation between compost facility, gas grid and biogas plant operators is necessary to use existing infrastructure, logistics and knowledge to promote the production, upgrade and feed-in of biomethane from biowastes at attractive locations in Upper Austria and in the whole of Europe.

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