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EnviTec Biogas celebrates 12 years of EnviThan biogas upgrading with 100th plant

EnviTec Biogas celebrates 12 years of EnviThan biogas upgrading with 100th plant
The 100th EnviThan will be supplied to Lykkeskund in Denmark and will upgrade 1,000 Nm³/h of biogas to RNG (biomethane) with just one 45-foot container (photo courtesy EnviTec Biogas).

Germany’s largest biogas producer EnviTec Biogas AG is celebrating this anniversary with its 100th biogas upgrading plant. This plant is scheduled to go online on the Danish island of Funen later this year.

The first gas upgrading plant at Lykkeslund Farm, which was realized and commissioned by EnviTec in May 2017, started production at 396 Nm³ per hour – with the capacity later being increased in two expansion stages to 468 Nm³/h and 510 Nm³/h, respectively.

With our construction project for farmer Lars Nielsen, we are once again demonstrating our high-quality standards in plant construction, remarked Maurice Markerink, Managing Director of EnviTec Plant Construction.

With the 100th EnviThan gas upgrading plant currently under construction, the plant will soon have a total capacity of 1,510 Nm³/h.

This customized and, above all, flexible solution of gradually increasing capacity convinced us to move forward and order another gas upgrading plant with EnviTec Biogas, Lars Nielsen explained.

Nielsen and Markerink are both delighted that this order is for the 100th-anniversary plant.

The new project will be located in the immediate vicinity of three other EnviThan gas upgrading projects that we have built on Funen in recent years, said Stefan Laumann, Head of Gas Upgrading at EnviTec Biogas.

Partnership with Evonik Industries

The innovative and particularly eco-friendly gas upgrading technology was developed together with EnviTec’s official technology partner Evonik Industries and, since the construction of EnviTec’s pilot plant in Sachsendorf, has found a home in eight countries worldwide.

In 12 years, our pioneering process has set milestones in the international gas upgrading market throughout Europe, China, and the USA, Stefan Laumann said.

The fermentation of organic material generates a gas mixture of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2). On its way from biogas to renewable natural gas, the raw gas is first purified and compressed.

The EnviThan technology developed by EnviTec and Evonik Industries takes advantage of the different sizes and speeds of passage of gas molecules. Since CO2 molecules are smaller than methane molecules, they can migrate through the membrane much faster.

The methane remains on the high-pressure side of the membrane, while the CO2 molecules of the biogas pass through.

Moreover, gas upgrading with the hollow fiber membranes used here requires no chemicals, water, or other aids. We currently have produced and commissioned EnviThan gas upgrading plants with a capacity of 34,100 Nm³/h biomethane worldwide with an average size of 437 Nm³/h, Stefan Laumann added.

More space-saving with twice the capacity

Even after twelve successful years, there is “no end in sight” to the long-term partnership between EnviTec and Evonik.

As drivers of innovation in the industry, both companies are committed to the constant further development of processes.

Whether it’s about optimizing the membrane technology and its separation capacity or finding a space-minimizing, cost-reducing accommodation – “the constant tweaks we make always lead to new, important milestones in gas upgrading,” said Stefan Laumann, such as accommodating a 1,000 Nm³/h EnviThan system in a single 45-foot container – ‘this makes the plant extremely compact.’

To achieve the space-saving construction in the 100th plant, the gas compressor is being positioned outside the technology container for the first time.

In Lykkeslund, we will enclose the compressor in a high-quality and sound-proof cabin to give it a separate space in front of the technology container, said Stefan Laumann.

This way, the entire gas upgrading technology fits into one EnviThan container, making it even more space-saving and cost-effective than the first two-container plant with only half the capacity.

The current plan is to ship the entire EnviThan plant to Denmark in September following a functional test and trial run at the Saerbeck site and then to put the new 1,000 Nm³/h EnviThan plant into operation by the end of 2024.

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