The 3-year project “BiogasApp”, which has just been launched, will bring together researchers from LEQUIA and geMM groups of University of Girona. The project is focused on two technological challenges of biogas upgrading: removal of siloxanes and conversion of carbon dioxide to methane.
BiogasApp project (Innovative technologies for biogas upgrading: from basic research to technology assessment, CTQ2014-53718-R) is being launched in September 2015. Funded by program “Retos de Investigación I+D+I” of Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, this 3-year project will tackle current challenges of biogas upgrading.
Biogas is mainly composed of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace compounds such as siloxanes, which hinder biogas use as energy carrier. Biogas is generated naturally or in waste treatment facilities (wastewater plants, landfills) through the degradation of organic matter under anaerobic conditions. Being a renewable biofuel, it will play a key role to achieve the European Union targets for 2020 on energy and GHG emissions cuts: 20% renewable energy, 20% cuts of greenhouse gases and 20% improvement of energy efficiency.
The project, which will have a duration of 3 years, is focused on two technological challenges of biogas upgrading from wastewater treatment plants: removal of siloxanes and conversion of carbon dioxide to methane.
For siloxanes removal, new adsorption/regeneration processes and membrane bioreactors with activated carbon will be studied. For the conversion of carbon dioxide to methane, bioelectrochemical systems will be investigated; promising results at laboratory scale have already been obtained. The project will also tackle the difficulty of comparing and selecting technologies. Thus, a multi-criteria decision support system (EDSS) will be developed to recommend a technology for a certain scenario. Technical, economic, social and environmental aspects will be considered.
A multidisciplinary research team
BiogasApp brings together for the first time a multidisciplinary team of University of Girona: from LEQUIA research group, Dr Maria Martin (adsorption and catalytic oxidation), Dr Joaquim Comas (membrane bioreactors), Drs Jesús Colprim, Marilós Balaguer and Sebastià Puig (bioelectrochemical systems) and Dr Manel Poch (environmental decision support systems); from gEMM research group, Drs Lluís Bañeras, Xavier Vila and Frederic Gich (microbial and molecular techniques). The project also counts on the participation of Dr Rafael González from IQS-University Ramon Llull (adsorption and catalytic oxidation) and the explicit support of several leading organisations on wastewater treatment and biogas upgrading in Spain.
Further info on the project: http://lequia.udg.cat/research/ongoing-projects/item/2265-biogasapp.html