DBFZ starts installation of a pilot plant for the production of "green methane"

Since 2018, the pilot project "Pilot SBG - Bioresources and Hydrogen to Methane as a Fuel", funded by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), has been implemented at the DBFZ. The objective of the research project initiated as part of the German government's Mobility and Fuel Strategy (MKS) is to convert previously unused biogenic residues, by-products and waste by using hydrogen into renewable methane as a fuel for the transport sector. As an essential part of the project, the starting signal was given on 31 May 2022 for the installation of a pilot plant on the DBFZ site in Leipzig.

With the pilot project "Pilot-SBG", the DBFZ makes a significant contribution to the further development of advanced, renewable fuels with high GHG abatement, to the mobilisation of unused material flows for high-quality products and to a circular economy. For this purpose, the technical conceptual design and the construction of a pilot plant are on the agenda of the project, with which the entire process chain from raw material to renewable methane and other by-products can be processed and monitored. At an internal "kick-off" with those responsible for the project and the companies involved, the official go-ahead was given on 31 May for the installation of the plant, which is to be built in the upcoming months on the DBFZ site in Leipzig.

The planned pilot plant will be built on an area of about 800 square metres and will essentially combine the anaerobic fermentation of selected residual and waste materials with the subsequent methanation of the resulting biogas. Innovative upstream and downstream processes are to increase resource efficiency and provide valuable by-products. The hydrogen used in the methanation process significantly increases the methane yield of the entire process. "We are currently assuming a monthly input of up to 1.2 tonnes of raw material and up to 80 standard cubic metres of renewable methane as output. This is to be used in a subsequent tank facility as renewable CNG in the DBFZ vehicle fleet," says project manager Karin Naumann, outlining the objectives of the plant.

After the operational campaigns starting in 2023, the facility will be available to stakeholders from science and industry as a technology platform for research and development and is designed in such a way that different technology modules can be used flexibly. To a limited extent, it can also be used for these purposes during the Pilot-SBG project period.

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