The Italian province of Vicenza has become an important centre for liquid biomethane production with two state-of-the-art plants that use electricity and heat provided by cogeneration units supplied by AB Energy (Gruppo AB). The ECOMAX® cogeneration modules can run on biogas, thereby avoiding the need to use fossil fuels or electricity imported from the grid.

Motta Energia L

PHOTO: The Motta Energia biomethane production facility is approximately 20km north east of Vicenza, which is 70km west of Venezia (Venice) (Photo: Iniziative Biometano)

The two biomethane production plants are both owned and operated by the same company (Iniziative Biometano). They use agricultural waste including bovine/poultry manure and sewage, obtained from 120 farms in the surrounding area, to produce a total of 7,000 tons of liquid biomethane (or Bio-LNG) per year (i.e. around 10 tons per plant per day). This Bio-LNG is used to fuel more than 200 heavy trucks for a total distance of 100,000 kilometers per year.

By applying the 'circular economy' approach in the agricultural context, the project makes it possible to fully utilize all the waste collected from local farms. As well as producing green fuel to power hundreds of heavy trucks (thereby reducing the consumption of fossil fuels in the transport sector), the process also generates excellent fertilizer that can be used on fields to replace chemical fertilizers, and also contributes to the capture and storage of carbon in the soil.

For this project, AB Energy (Gruppo AB) has supplied the technologies to cover the entire transformation chain from biogas into liquid biomethane. Two BIOCH4NGE® membrane purification systems are used to upgrade biogas into biomethane, which is then transformed from gas into liquid by two CH4LNG® liquefactors. Meanwhile, two ECOMAX® cogeneration units, which can be fed with either biogas or natural gas, produce enough heat and electricity to support all the processes whilst ensuring optimal performance in terms of both cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

"Cogeneration fits perfectly into the process, especially because of the thermal power requirements of the anaerobic digestion,” explains Enrico Calzavacca, Chief Technology Innovation Officer of AB Energy. “Moreover, the possibility to run the cogeneration units with biogas reduces the use of fossil fuels, thereby decreasing the carbon intensity of the whole process.”

“Without cogeneration the site would be lacking thermal power for the digestion process, and the energy needs of the plant would have to be covered by electricity bought from the grid. So this project is really an excellent example that shows how effective and efficient cogeneration can be across a wide spectrum of applications."

For more information about this project, see the video on the NetZeroTube website (in Italian with English or German subtitles): The virtuous cycle of Motta Energia and EBS for the production of 7,000 tons of liquefied biomethane per year

For more information about ECOMAX® cogeneration plants - see the Gruppo AB website.


Published on 25 October 2023




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