The goal of the European Commission is to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in the areas of climate, energy, land use, and transportation by the year 2030. This is an enormous challenge for all areas of society. A biogas plant can make a large regional contribution to the achievement of these goals.
A facility of this kind – embedded in a regional recycling system – should contribute, inter alia, to the decarbonization of local dairy farms and the reduced contamination of the soil with nitrates. Additionally, the processing of the commercial goods should lead to 100% recycling.
biwi has achieved comprehensive benefits for both the agricultural sector and with regards to the use of CO2-neutral fuels by society as a whole.
By processing solid livestock waste and liquid manure, associated greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., methane and CO2) can be significantly lowered beginning right at the level of animal husbandry. The deposition of the fermented material onto meadows and fields reduces nitrate contamination and ammonia emissions.
The fermented material should be subjected to further processing for utilization as high-quality fertilizer in such areas as agriculture and fruit and vegetable growing. The resultant biogas is a regenerative energy medium which is purified in various stages so that, ultimately, organic methane and purified CO2 are obtained. These two valuable gases represent CO2-neutral products which can be re-introduced to the regional economy.
This results in the establishment of a regional recycling system which also makes an active contribution to environmental protection.
Livestock waste and liquid manure generate such greenhouse gases as methane and CO2; when the wastes are deposited on pastureland, these gases are allowed to escape into the atmosphere. Biogas plants can separate methane and CO2 from biogas using modern membrane technology. These two highly pure gases then undergo complicated processing to produce liquefied methane (LNG) and carbon dioxide.
In order to limit the global increase in temperature to 1.5 °C, no more than 355 gigatons of CO2 can be allowed to enter the atmosphere on a worldwide basis. That is an ambitious goal. At present rates, this CO2 budget will be exhausted in only eight years. The European Union has clearly announced its goal to promote decarbonization and supports Biogas Wipptal in its battle against CO2 released due to the burning of fossil fuels.
Ammonia is of great importance in various technical areas. Most ammonia is used for the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers. However, it is not widely known that the manufacture of ammonia is responsible for a significant portion of global CO2 emissions. Thus, for every ton of ammonia produced, approx. 1.9 tons of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. On a worldwide basis, ammonia production accounts for approx. 2% of total CO2 emissions. This corresponds to about 1,000,000,000 tons of CO2. For comparison: Global street traffic accounts for 1,200,000,000 tons.
With its organic fertilizers derived from natural sources, biwi can help reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers produced from ammonia.
This yields a potential savings of up to 3,500,000 kg of CO2 annually. Biogas plants use modern membrane technology to separate methane and CO2 from biogas. The reduced application of livestock waste and liquid manure onto fields results in an annual avoidance of about 5,000,000 kg of CO2.
The production of approx. 11,000 kg of organic LNG per day makes it possible to fuel about 130 trucks in a CO2-neutral fashion. The average truck is responsible for emissions of about 792 grams per km. Given a mean mileage of 120,000 km per year, this means that roughly 95,040 kg/year of CO2 are released into the atmosphere by each truck fuelled with fossil energy sources. Thus, one hundred and thirty trucks which switch to the use of organic LNG can avoid about 11,200,000 kg of CO2 emissions.
All in all, Biogas Wipptal has the capacity to reduce CO2 emissions by about 19,700,000 kg per year – chiefly in the agricultural sector and in transport.