Knowledge exchange strengthens the biogas sector

This year’s expedition for the Biogas Solutions Research Center and its members led them to the Netherlands, with the purpose of exploring the unique biogas solutions that this country has to offer.

It was a diverse mix of visits representing a broad spectrum of biogas solutions, including wastewater treatment plants, sugar beet processing plant, gas stations, liquefied biogas upgrading facilities, plants producing biogas from liquid manure from pigs and cows, and a meeting with the Dutch Biorefinery Cluster.

There are lessons to be learned from the Dutch biogas sector. Among the most impressive was that it is possible to separate liquid biomethane and carbon dioxide as well as generate clean streams of several plant nutrients. The Netherlands has a well-developed nationwide gas grid, as well as local grids between clusters of partners. 

When it comes to regulations, the Netherlands has strict directives on how residuals or digestates from biogas production, known as biofertilizer, may be used. Also due to a national surplus of this resource, biofertilizer plays a less prominent role compared to Sweden. This explains why the biogas narrative in the Netherlands often revolves around biogas as an energy carrier rather than fertilizer.

Another important aspect is the growing interest in biomethane in the transport sector, especially as transport is now included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). This creates a promising future for biogas as an important part of European climate strategy.

The knowledge-rich trip included meetings with Royal Cosun, Waterstromen B.V., Aviko, Groot-Zevert, Beltrum, OG Clean Fuels and Nordsol, and others from the Platform Hernieuwbare Brandstoffen, Renewable Fuels Platform, Platform Groen Gas, Green Gas Platform, and the Dutch Biorefinery Cluster. Many thanks to Loes Knotter, Eric van den Heuvel, Robert Goevaers, Annita Westenbroek and Johan Raap.

It was an experience that strengthened the understanding of the global landscape for biogas, and the lessons learned will undoubtedly enrich the Swedish biogas sector in the future.