The small-scale production of synthesis gas rich in carbon monoxide and hydrogen from woody biomass with direct utilization in a combined heat and power plant is state of the art. For an integration of the process into a future diversified energy system with a high proportion of volatile generation of wind and solar energy, especially the storage of the renewable energy source synthesis gas from wood is a central challenge. By means of a downstream methanisation stage, the synthesis gas can be converted to methane, which has a significantly better storage capacity and also allows it to be fed into the public gas grid. Up to now, mainly catalytic processes have been available for this purpose, but due to the short service life of active materials (catalyst deactivation), they cannot be operated economically at present.
The "IntenseMethane" research project is pursuing the innovative approach of converting hydrogen-rich synthesis gas from wood gasification into methane in a biological methanation stage. For this purpose, a wood gasification plant is coupled to an existing dry fermentation plant for organic waste. In this context, the individual process steps of gasification and dry fermentation are also to be optimised with regard to the synergy effects for the sector coupling.
The work of TEER focuses on the thermochemical gasification system. This includes both conceptual work on plant coupling and the optimisation of the plant for N2-reduced operation as well as the metrological and laboratory analysis of the feedstocks and products.
Partners in the project consortium are the Chair of Energy Process Engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the industrial partners BEKON GmbH and LiPRO Energy GmbH & Co KG. The project is funded for three years under the funding code 03EI5405D by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy within the 7th Energy Research Programme.