Status quo biogas plants and biomethane plants

With approximately 8792 biogas plants (including agricultural, organic waste, landfill and sewage gas plants) in operation by end of 2011, Germany takes the lead in biogas production in Europe. In May 2013 the number of upgrading units stand out at 116. The graph below depicts the growth of biogas plants and the growth of upgrading units.

Existing biogas plants
The majority of the operating biogas plants use energy crops and manure as chief source of substrate. The number of agricultural biogas plants stands out at 7000 units. Around 92 plants utilise biowaste as a substrate, which also includes municipal solid waste. Around 1700 plants operate on sewage treatment facilities.

Existing biomethane plants
More than 116 plants have been commissioned that upgrade biogas to biomethane to inject the gas into the natural gas grid or to sell it directly as vehicle fuel at fuel stops. The average plant size is a production capacity of approximately 550 m³/h, however, the plants’ sizes vary enormously. There are a few very large facilities with a biomethane production capacity of up to 10,000 m³/h (e.g. Güstrow, Zörbig, Schwedt), plants of medium size (e.g. Wüsting, Aiterhofen), and rather small plants producing less than 300 m³ per hour (e.g. Ronnenberg, Kißlegg-Rahmhaus, Eggertshofen).

Applied upgrading technologies
The grafic below showes the applied upgrading technologies used in the 116 german biomethane plants in May 2013.