Part of the Flotech Group of companies, Greenlane is the leading worldwide developer and supplier of technology for upgrading biogas and landfill gas to biomethane, for use in natural gas pipelines and as vehicle fuel. Greenlane has more than 20 years of global experience upgrading biogas, with installations in Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain and Sweden. Greenlane technology is used in the world`s largest plant for upgrading biogas, in Güstrow Germany which processes 6,000 scfm of raw biogas.
- Greenlane Biogas is the only truly global player in the biomethane sector and commands a substantial market share as the acknowledged leader in biogas upgrading.
- Our technology offers the opportunity for making the most of biogas to the widest range of customers – from small local authority and farm installations to extensive district and industrial biomethane facilities.
- To facilitate this, the models across our upgrader range are designed for a wide range of gas output rates. The process allows biogas from a variety of organic feedstocks to be successfully upgraded.
- Our R&D programme seeks to further broaden the suitability for upgrading of raw biogas derived from an ever-wider variety of organic inputs.
A brief history of Greenlane
The Greenlane business was founded in New Zealand in 1986 with a focus on the installation and service of equipment for natural gas refuelling stations. By 1990 the company had diversified into industrial technologies building on its core expertise in gas handling, heat exchange, and mass transfer.
Biogas upgrading was initially driven by demand for an eco-friendly, sustainable and economically viable vehicle fuel. In 1992 the Swedish government decided to invest in biogas and in the same year the company installed its first upgrading plant in France. In 1994 the company opened its first European office in Stockholm.
The last ten years have seen Greenlane emerge as the global leader in the market. There are over 90 sites around the world where Greenlane biogas upgraders are operating by the water scrubbing process. These include the two currently largest facilities, at Güstrow in northern Germany and Montreal, Canada.
A continuous research and development program ensures that Greenlane remains at the leading edge of biogas upgrading technology, offering a range of new-generation designs of upgrader – all named after trees native to Greenlane’s founding homeland, New Zealand.
In October 2014, Greenlane became part of the Pressure Technologies plc (PT) – a leading design and manufacturing group offering speciality engineering solutions for high-pressure systems serving major global markets.
PT, based in Sheffield, UK, is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
The operating companies of Greenlane Biogas in Europe, Americas and Asia grow with their customers. In a number of cases, the undoubted commercial success of sites employing the proven Greenlane system has lead to repeat business on further projects.
This type of sustained relationship is at the core of Greenlane’s business ethos.
But the growth of Greenlane has also been enhanced since the earliest days of the company through strategic partnerships with partners and licensees in various parts of the world.
Biogas is the name for the mixture of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) which is produced naturally when organic matter decomposes.
Biogas can be produced when food waste from households, manure, or crops from agriculture is broken down by micro-organisms in digesters and wastewater treatment plants. Biogas can be used for heating, power generation or upgrading to natural gas quality.
When upgraded to purified biome thane (or renewable natural gas) it has a number of desirable characteristics, compared to other established fuel energy sources, and even to most renewable energy systems, such as biofuels:
- less harmful to world ecology than traditional fossil fuels
- no impact on the food chain – in contrast to land take-up for crop-based biofuels
- more beneficial by utilising otherwise wasted materials for the methane source
- carbon negative through the capture of methane
There will always be a supply of organic waste products. In this sense, biomethane is a truly renewable natural gas.
A most efficient form of clean renewable energy
Biogas upgrading was initially driven by the need for environmentally friendly, sustainable and economically viable fuel which is interchangeable with natural gas. Many of the market’s initial installations provided fuels for natural gas vehicles.
When used directly from an anaerobic digester and burnt as a raw fuel – usually to supply small-scale heat and electricity generation (CHP) – the use of biogas has some positive effects on the environment. It utilises the methane which otherwise would have escaped to atmosphere.
But this process does not fully treat carbon dioxide (CO2) – a primary greenhouse gas. The process of upgrading to almost pure biomethane removes virtually all of the CO2 as well as other harmful elements such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S).
As well as environmental benefits, there are considerable medium and long-term advantages from upgrading.
Burning biogas after it has been upgraded to biomethane is more than twice as efficient – in terms of extracting the energy locked up in it – compared to burning it in the raw state.
The calorific value for a given volume of gas will usually dictate the commercial returns.
This is a key consideration when planning any biogas project. Greenlane Biogas welcomes contact at the earliest stage where its proven experience can be put to good use by project developers.
While the Greenlane Biogas range of upgraders are essentially modular, plug-and-go systems, the company fully appreciates the significance of the parameters and characteristics unique to each biogas upgrading project – factors such as:
- Location and climate
- Environmental and planning matters
- Feedstock types and volumes
- Anticipated gas throughput
- Necessary ancillary equipment including monitoring
- Local gas network infrastructure – network entry agreements
Across the world, over 90 operational projects feature Greenlane water-scrubbing upgrading systems. USA, Canada, Japan, UK, France, Germany, Finland and Spain are among the countries where systems are installed, giving reliable, proven performance and high availability, in many cases for a decade or more so far.
An integrated package
- Regional manufacture
- New generation of different-sized upgraders
- Regionally-based maintenance teams
- A project design team to maximise site layout and efficiency
The greenest of processes
- Water-wash gas scrubbing process
- Achieves 98% pure renewable natural gas
- Uses only plain water
- No heat or chemicals
- No costly periodic replacement of membranes
- Proven effectiveness with gas from a range of digester feedstocks
- Plants operational across the region
- Patented technology ensures delivered gas quality
- Access to the group’s technical & engineering resources
Caring for your investment
- Improved warranty and telephone support service
- 24/7 performance monitoring
- Planned maintenance
- Key spares held regionally
On 1st October 2014, Pressure Technologies plc (PT) acquired the worldwide business and certain assets of Greenlane Biogas Holdings Ltd and those of its various subsidiary companies.
But that was by no means PT’s first involvement in the biogas industry.
In 2008 PT grew organically by establishing Chesterfield BioGas Limited (CBG) as a separate operating company of the group. That development was triggered by the signing of a co-operation agreement with Greenlane Biogas which granted CBG the exclusive rights to produce and market Greenlane equipment in the UK & Ireland.
Subsequently, award-winning CBG won a series of contracts for a variety of biogas upgrading projects, particularly where gas-to-grid connection was the objective. It became the leading supplier of such systems in the UK, naturally based on a close day-to-day working relationship with Greenlane, its technology partner. On this relationship was founded the logic behind the full acquisition of Greenlane by PT some 6 years later.
Prior to 2008, CBG was a division of Chesterfield Special Cylinders Ltd (CSC), the original operating company of the PT group, from the time in 2005 when it was the subject of a management buy-out.
In this sense the PT group’s relationship with biogas has an even longer history, as CSC was involved in the 1990s with some of the earliest projects in the world where CNG or biomethane was upgraded and stored.
CSC itself has a history of more than 115 years of innovation, applying specialist engineering skills of the highest integrity and quality. Today this remains a core value which is fully embraced by PT group companies – all of which currently specialise in some way in technology for the containment and control of liquids and gases in pressure systems.
Today, Greenlane Biogas, in common with all member companies of the PT group, benefits from the backing of considerable technical, financial and management resources to assure successful project completion.
Quality Management System – ISO 9001:2008
- The supply of biogas upgrading equipment and compressed natural gas refuelling facilities and the management of installation, commissioning and maintenance activities.
- Certificate No: FS 574655
Occupational Health & Safety Management System – ISO18001
- The specification, supply, installation and maintenance of biogas upgrading equipment and compressed natural gas refuelling facilities.
- Certificate No: OHS 581181
Environmental Management System – ISO14001
- Operates an Environmental Management System which complies with the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 for the activities detailed in the scope of registration.
- Certificate No: EMS 586895
- Registrations to the internationally recognised standards shown below are held by PT Biogas Technology Ltd, based in Sheffield UK.
- This company, a member of Pressure Technologies plc (PT), is the holder and manager of the intellectual property rights of all companies in the Alternative Energy Division of PT.
- The accreditations are applicable to all manufacturing sites of Greenlane Biogas in their operating companies in Europe, Americas and Asia.
The Greenlane process of upgrading biogas to biomethane is based on the most environmentally friendly solution which uses plain water in a ‘water scrubbing system’ to achieve a high degree of biogas purification, without the need for chemicals or heat.
Carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide are separated from the gases under pressure by absorption into the water and, after upgrading, the methane content is typically greater than 98%. At the heart of the facility a simple, robust, reliable compressor provides high availability and low operating costs.
The final product – biomethane – replaces fossil-derived natural gas and can be injected into natural gas networks or utilized as a renewable vehicle fuel.
Environmental benefits of the water scrubbing system:
- Environmentally friendly process using water
- Energy efficient and economical to run
- No chemicals needed
- No heat requirement
- 99% methane capture rate
- Compact site footprint
- Safe and reliable technology, proven worldwide
New sites are constantly being developed and will be coming into operation soon around the world – all featuring this upgrading technology. Information will be published on the ‘News & Media’ page or see selective ‘Case Studies’.
PT Biogas Technology Ltd, based in Sheffield UK, a member of Pressure Technologies plc (PT), is the sole holder and manager of the intellectual property rights of all companies in the Alternative Energy Division of PT, including Greenlane Biogas operating companies in Europe, Americas and Asia.