United Kingdom

Status quo biogas plants and biomethane plants

The UK offers supportive policies for biomethane plants, and provides financial support such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for biomethane injected in to the national gas grid. Despite the few hurdles that surround wide scale biomethane injection (i.e. grid connection and gas quality requirements), the UK is committed in bringing biogas utilisation forward, and solutions to these issues are currently being discussed. The UK shows a steady growth in anaerobic digestion (AD) plants.The national policy focuses on expanding the utilisation of the biogas potential from biowaste, with reduced focus on use of energy crops.

Existing biogas plants 

In total there are approximately 360 AD plants generating biogas, where most of them are at sewage plants. Whilst there are only 60 AD plants based on agricultural biomass or biowaste there is now significant growth. The current active UK biogas plants can be found on this map.

Existing biomethane plants

Two biomethane projects have been commissioned so far, a water scrubber on sewage gas in Didcot and a cryogenic gas treatment at a brewery in Adnams. Both plants are connected to the grid and feed into low pressure (2 bar and 4 bar) pipelines within the national gas network. 

Applied upgrading technologies

There are 5 technologies available to clean-up and upgrade biogas to biomethane in the UK. These are water wash, chemical absorption, membrane, pressure swing adsorption, and cryogenic. The technologies used for the first two biomethane plants in the UK (Didcot and Adnams) are water wash and cryogenic, respectively.