Status quo biogas plants and biomethane plants

Austria has a long tradition in producing biogas from landfill, sewage sludge and industrial waste. More than 20 years ago the first agricultural biogas plants using liquid and solid animal manure emerged. Before millennium the first attempts to use energy crops and grass were made. Some provinces subsidised such agricultural and co-digestion plants by feed-in tariffs for a period of 10 to 12 years. In 2001 with the Green Electricity Act nation-wide feed-in tariffs for a period of 13 years were introduced. From that time until 2007 more than 200 biogas plants with a total capacity of 60 MW mainly fed by energy crops were erected. All following amendments of the Green Electricity Act did not lead to a comparable market activity. Even the biogas market calmed down during the recent years, today we count approximately 300 agricultural biogas plants, 25 industrial AD plants, 134 sewage gas plants, 30 MSW AD plants and 14 landfill gas plants in operation. In 2005 the first biomethane project at pilot plant scale was implemented. Today there is a total of 10 plants that upgrade biogas to biomethane, out of which seven plants are connected to the gas grid (Table 1). The main feed stock for biogas plants are energy crops, sewage sludge or biowaste. Another three biomethane plants abandon the grid connection and deliver directly to filling stations. The feed in tariffs for electricity from biomethane are considered to be less attractive, hence, the most common utilisation pathways for the upgraded biogas are in space heating and in the transport sector.

Location Year of commissioning Upgrading technology Capacity of biomethane production [nm3 / h]
Pucking* 2005 PSA 6
Bruck an der Leitha 2007 Membrane Technology 100
Schwaighofen bei Eugendorf 2008 PSA 40
Leoben* 2010 Anime Scrubber 125
Engerwitzdorf 2010 Anime Scrubber 125
Asten Linz 2010 Water Scrubber 380
Wienser Neustadt 2011 Membrane Technology 120
*Out of operation