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


EnviThan Wins Customer Over Again with Unmatched Flexibility

Twelve years of EnviThan gas upgrading: Germany’s largest biogas producer EnviTec Biogas AG is celebrating this anniversary with its 100th gas upgrading plant. This plant is scheduled to go online on the Danish island of Funen this year. “With our construction project for farmer Lars Nielsen, we are once again demonstrating our high-quality standards in plant construction,” notes Maurice Markerink, Managing Director of EnviTec Plant Construction.

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 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,” Nielsen explains. 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,” adds Stefan Laumann, Head of Gas Upgrading at EnviTec Biogas.

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,” continues Laumann. The fermentation of organic material generates a gas mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. 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 takes advantage of the different sizes and speeds of passage of gas molecules: Since carbon dioxide 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,” explains Laumann. “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,” Laumann continues.

More space-saving with twice the capacity

Even after twelve successful years, there is still 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,” says Laumann, such as accommodating a 1,000 Nm³/h EnviThan system in a single 45” 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,” says 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 the year.

Milestones in EnviThan gas upgrading
Year Milestone

  • 2012 Demonstration plant in Sachsendorf, Germany with Evonik Industries
  • 2013 Initial feed-in of the first two EnviThan plants in Köckte and Sachsendorf
  • 2014 First gas upgrading plant in the UK, featuring a 16 bar Aerzen compressor First use of horizontal membranes
  • 2015 Boom in the UK, further plants put into operation
  • 2016 First gas upgrading plant in Denmark; largest plant to date with biomethane output of 890 Nm³/h Expansion of an existing plant in the UK with 2nd EnviThan
  • 2017 First gas upgrading plant in China First gas upgrading plant in France
  • 2018 Introduction of the new membrane generation with twice the capacity Expansion of an existing plant in Denmark with 2nd EnviThan
  • 2019 First CNG filling station in Hürth, Germany First single-container plants in France and Denmark First feed-in compressor to the high-pressure network in France
  • 2020 First two gas upgrading plants in Estonia Introduction of the new G5X membrane generation Largest plant with biomethane output of 1,400 Nm³/h in Denmark
  • 2021 France dominates the gas upgrading market 50th EnviThan put into operation
  • 2022 First gas upgrading plant in the USA
  • 2023 Doubling of EnviThan fabrication capacity with new production hall
  • 2024 100th EnviThan gas upgrading plant under construction

About us

About EnviTec Biogas AG

EnviTec Biogas AG covers the entire value chain for the production of biogas, including the planning and 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 operational management services. EnviTec operates 87 own plants, making it the largest biogas producer in Germany at present. EnviTec’s business activities also include the production and marketing of climate-neutral fuels (bio-LNG) for the transport sector as well as food-grade liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2). With a presence in 16 countries worldwide, EnviTec Biogas AG is represented by its own companies, sales offices, strategic partners and joint ventures. In 2023, the EnviTec Group generated revenue of EUR 416.8 million and EBT of EUR 88.2 million. The Group currently employs around 690 employees. EnviTec Biogas AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.