Production and use of biogas in Europe: a survey of current status and perspectives

Raboni, Massimo; Urbini, Giordano
April 2014
Revista Ambiente e Água;Apr-Jun2014, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p191
Academic Journal
The article presents the results of a survey carried out in the European Union (EU) regarding the production and use of biogas from different sources. The EU is a world leader in the field of biogas, with a production of 10,085.8 ktoe y-1 (in 2011) in terms of primary energy, accounting for about 60% of the world's production. Germany is the EU country that has made the greatest progress in this field with a production of as much as 5,067.6 ktoe y-1, of which a share of 4,414.2 ktoe y-1 results from anaerobic digestion (and co-digestion) processes of selected organic matrices. UK is the second largest producer with 1,764.8 ktoe y-1, determined for 84% by landfill biogas and the remainder by biogas produced in sewage treatment plants (sludge digestion). Italy (1,095.7 ktoe y-1) and France (349.6 ktoe y-1) follow in the list of the largest producers. The trend of biogas production, in accordance with the action lines of the EU, is characterized by a progressive increase from anaerobic digestion (and co-digestion) of selected organic matrices and a progressive decrease from landfills. Production in 2020 is estimated at 28.0 Mtoe y-1 in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy National Plans. The uses of biogas are mainly directed to the production of electricity and heat. There are, however, several cases of conversion of biogas into biomethane injected into the natural gas grids or used as biofuel in vehicles. In this last direction, worthy of note are a few north-central EU countries which have implemented an effective policy to promote the use of biomethane for public and private transport.


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