Lohne/Saerbeck, 04 October 2017 – EnviThan times twenty: with the commissioning of a
700 Nm³ EnviThan plant in Solschen, Lower Saxony, EnviTec Biogas AG has achieved yet another milestone in the German gas upgrading market. “In just five years, we have planned and completed a total of 20 plants with this efficient and environmentally-friendly membrane technology,” says Jürgen Tenbrink, CTO at the German biogas all-rounder based in Lohne and Saerbeck.
Constructed in Solschen, a district in the municipality of Ilsede, Peine county, the gas upgrading plant has been feeding into the L-gas network operated by Avacon since September 1st. “Our customers have been particularly impressed by the flexibility of our membrane technology,” says Stefan Laumann, Head of Gas Upgrading at EnviTec. The process can produce any level of calorific value as desired, which is measured by using the ‘Wobbe index’.
Fuel gases are subdivided into two types: H-gas (high calorific gas) and L-gas (low calorific gas). L- and H-gas are transported using separate pipeline systems. L-gas produced by German and Dutch plants currently supplies around 30% of the German natural gas market. “Production output is declining, however, so affected network areas will have to move to H-gas in the future,” explains Laumann. In the course of this ‘marketplace migration’, the Solschen EnviThan plant will also need to convert from L- to H-gas. The plant is already well-prepared for this step, however, since it has adequate slots reserved for the additional membranes.
Nor is EnviThan merely impressing customers with its flexibility in terms of calorific value. “Our gas upgrading work with EnviThan is going from strength to strength,” Laumann continues. Developed jointly by EnviTec and Evonik Industries, the EnviThan process has now been successfully deployed in the UK, France, China and Denmark following its German market launch in 2012. The technology has seen a series of improvements over the last five years: “While we initially installed the membranes vertically, we ultimately switched over to a new, horizontal arrangement – and this is now the standard membrane design,” Laumann adds. By using this horizontal arrangement, EnviTec is now able to install almost three times as many modules in a single container. “Three out of four projects now use a horizontal membrane layout,” says Laumann.
“Another change was introducing the option to source the feed-in compressor from EnviTec as well,” says Laumann. First deployed as part of a project in France, this compressor boosts the pressure of the biomethane produced from around 12 bar to the network pressure required by the various destination gas networks. The booster compressor is delivered as a fully-equipped, ready-to-go unit. And EnviTec can of course supply the high-pressure gas lines needed to connect the plant to the network operator’s feed-in point.
Progress has also been made in developing smaller, more compact plants: EnviTec now offers a single-container model for biogas plants up to 300 Nm³/h. The new container design also provides dedicated space for up to two membrane racks: this is much more cost-effective, since it not only avoids using a second container but also saves on pipework, cabling and base.
About EnviTec Biogas AG
EnviTec Biogas AG covers the entire value chain for the production of biogas, including the planning and turnkey construction of biogas plants and biogas upgrading plants as well as their commissioning. The company takes charge of biological and technical services on demand and also offers full plant and operational management. In addition, EnviTec also operates its own biogas plants. In 2011, EnviTec Biogas expanded its business operations into the direct marketing of upgraded biomethane as well as the marketing of green electricity and balancing energy. With a presence in 14 countries worldwide, EnviTec Biogas AG is represented by its own companies, sales offices, strategic partners and joint ventures. In 2016, EnviTec generated revenue of €162.9 million and EBIT of €4.2 million. The EnviTec Group currently has around 460 employees. EnviTec Biogas has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.
EnviTec Biogas AG
Tel: +49 2574 8888-810