BIOSYNGAS aims at improving many aspects of biogas production plants in Norway.

Biogas plants face numerous challenges most of them are related to the so called digestate, a by-product that should be exploited as it contains important nutrients that act as a fertilizer in agriculture. It is a wet/solid fraction that is generated after digesting the organic waste and producing biomethane. This fraction could contain micro-/macro plastics and heavy metals which gives challenges to its utilisation. Also, it is available in large quantities making its transport quite costly and contributes negatively to the plant economy.

BIOSYNGAS aims at solving these challenges by thermally treating this fraction and producing a range of by-products that will help improving the circular economy of nutrients in wastes. By integrating the thermal treatment with existing biogas plant, it will be possible to increase biomethane production and overall process efficiency. Another benefit from including a thermal treatment step is that it broadens the type of organic waste that could be treated in biogas plants, increasing biogas production furthermore.

Photo: The CSTR hydrothermal test facility at SINTEF

BIOSYNGAS will investigate the use of by-products from the thermal treatment step as catalyst for enhancing the anaerobic digestion. The effect catalysts such as biochar and syngas (hydrogen) on the anaerobic digestion will be experimentally investigated. The project will also work on the development of the process through process modelling where the integration will be optimised and key parameters such as overall efficiency, environmental impact and profitability will be mapped and compared to existing standalone solutions.

The project is a collaboration between SINTEF Energy Research (project owner) and NIBIO and includes two PhDs linked to NTNU and NMBU.

The project will also collaborate with Zhejiang university of technology on hydrothermal gasification. Industry partners involved are, HRA, REG, VEAS, FREVAR, Lindum, Antec Biogas and Bergen Kommune.