Finally, after running the last Site Acceptance Tests, the biological methanation plant of the LIFE NIMBUS project has successfully started up operation in June in the WWTP Baix Llobregat, managed by Aigües de Barcelona. Through the methanation process, the CO2 present in the biogas reacts with hydrogen, maximizing methane (CH4) production and reducing the facility’s CO2 emissions.
This facility is methanating biogas with green H2, reaching a purity of over 97.5% CH4, and its composition can be made compliant with both UNE-EN 16723-1 and UNE-EN 16723-2 by tuning operation.
The bus from Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona is already circulating with biomethane to start live tests. The plant will power the bus, reducing by over 80% its carbon footprint, throughout 2023 and 2024.
Biological plant start-ups are specially complex, for microorganisms might take a long time to adapt, and any fluctuation in process parameters can be detrimental to their growth and performance. However the past two months of operation have shown the reliability of the plant design and solidity of the microorganism consortia used. Cetaqua would like to thank the Genocov group from Universtat Autònoma de Barcelona for its support during plant start-up.
Operation will now focus not only on biomethane supply to the bus but on the testing of several different process parameters to optimize operation as well as gather enough information for the techno-economic evaluation of biological methanation at full-scale.
Biological methanation of CO2 into biomethane has gained traction throughout europe as a means to increase the potential displacement of fossil fuels by biomethane. Cetaqua will keep on working and investing in biological methanation of biogas and CO2 not only in the LIFE NIMBUS project, but also in other projects.