Biomethane -The renewables all-rounder

Biomethane upgrading opens up a promising future market for the biogas industry. With injection into the public natural gas grid, the green all-rounder is perfect for the decentralised supply of energy, offering a long-term replacement for fossil natural gas and driving the energy transition forward. What’s more, the biomethane manufactured in the gas upgrading plant has the same properties as natural gas, being just as flexible in its usage and easier to store than other energy sources. Plus, it’s renewable.

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Anaerobic digestion of organic materials creates a gas mixture composed of methane and carbon dioxide. To upgrade the biogas to natural gas-quality biomethane, the crude gas is first purified and compressed. The membrane technology we use then exploits the different sizes and permeation speeds of the two kinds of gas molecules involved: since carbon dioxide molecules are smaller than methane molecules, they can migrate through the membrane much more quickly. As a result, the methane remains on the high-pressure side, while the CO2 molecules in the biogas pass through. Gas upgrading with membranes needs neither chemicals nor water nor any other resources.

The starting point for producing biomethane doesn’t have to be biogas, however. After a preliminary purification stage, gas from landfill and wastewater treatment plants can also be used to produce biomethane.

The biomethane produced is the all-rounder among renewable energy sources, and can replace fossil fuel-based natural gas anywhere it is used. On the following pages, you can find out about the many uses for this valuable and renewable natural gas, and how it can play a part in an environmentally-friendly energy supply system.

Looking for a dependable partner in the biomethane industry?

From the initial raw gas purification stage to efficient gas upgrading (including after-sales service) and the subsequent marketing of the gas produced, we can offer you tailor-made solutions from start to finish along the value chain.

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The advantages of biomethane at a glance:

    Our EnviThan model offers you a tailor-made solution along the entire value chain, from the initial pre-treatment of your raw gas, gas upgrading into biomethane, various options for gas marketing (bio-LNG, bio-CNG, electricity, heat and CO2 liquefaction), all rounded off by our comprehensive after-sales service.
    EnviThan gas upgrading is simple and robust while also being compact and space-saving. The components for compression, gas temperature control, condensation, filtration and gas purification are installed in a container. Thanks to their modular design and initial testing at our factory, these technical systems can be set up quickly and easily on site. In addition, the systems can be adapted to various quality requirements and performance capacities for the respective gas grids or usage scenarios, and also feature impressively low maintenance costs. The modular construction of an EnviThan plant also offers plenty of reserve capacity, making a flexible expansion of the plant possible at a later date.
    We use SEPURAN® Green modules from Evonik Industries for the membrane separation process in our gas upgrading plants. The high-selectivity, hollow-fibre membranes purify the raw biogas generated in the biogas plants from 50 to over 97 percent by volume – a very high figure compared with other technologies. The successful partnership between EnviTec and Evonik is not only reflected in the fact that we are one of the world’s largest buyers of these leading Evonik modules, but also in the fact that EnviTec is the only company worldwide operating an internal gas upgrading plant solely for the purpose of carrying out R&D into these innovative membrane systems jointly with Evonik.
    EnviThan Gas upgrading plants are equipped with a large number of sensors with the aim of guaranteeing an optimum analysis and evaluation of the process. Fluctuations in quality affecting raw gas, for example, or resulting from external factors can be immediately determinded and then precisely corrected. This ensures a constant feed-in quality. Our gas upgrading plants have short start-up times and can be quickly adjusted to changes in volume flow rates thanks to good controllability. This guarantees the simple and flexible operational management of EnviThan plants.
    Thanks to the three-stage membrane arrangement and the optimised plant design from EnviTec, a very low double compression of less than 30 percent is achieved. This significantly reduces energy requirements compared with other arrangements while simultaneously ensuring very low methane losses.
    The extremely high methane yield of more than 99 percent results in optimum usage the nergy whithin the input materials. Nor does this gas upgrading method require any chemicals, water or other resources. Most of the heat generated during the upgrading process can be recovered and utilised. Compared with other methods, EnviThan is also inexpensive and environmentally friendly since it produces no waste water or emissions.
    Demand is rising for sustainably produced LNG. When biomethane, produced from waste substances as per the RED II Directive, liquefied and used in the HGV sector as bio-LNG, additional sources of income then become possible from certificates trading. The membrane technology process already produces high-purity CO2, which can therefore be marketed as a second product gas.
    Quality is our top priority at EnviTec Biogas. To ensure we can meet our high standards at all times, all EnviThan plants are designed and built at our facility in Saerbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia. We also work only with hand-picked suppliers whose commitment to quality meets our own standards – and our business relationships with these suppliers now go back many years.
    Apart from the efficiency and technical quality of our gas upgrading systems, our long-standing international expertise in biogas plant construction is another reason why customers worldwide entrust their projects to EnviTec. China, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, UK and USA – EnviThan is conquering the gas upgrading market on a global scale. Go here to find out more about our international references.
    EnviTec Biogas has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007. The EnviTec Group’s strong financial background offers financial peace of mind to investors, customers and partners. Our high standards of reliability are also reflected in our own business model: investment in our own, internally operated plants enables us to pursue the continued improvement and optimisation of our technologies, and to offer our customers high levels of reliability and efficiency for their own plant operations.

Envithan biogas upgrading

refreshingly simple and flexible.

Before biogas can be fed into the natural gas grid or used as a fuel, it must first be upgraded to natural gas quality. Our answer to the requirements of the future is therefore EnviThan – our integrated solution from organic waste to the filling station pump!

Want to lose no time in getting started on your own project?

Simply tell us what you need and we’ll get in touch with you to provide tailor-made advice!

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Biomethan - the all-rounder

From a macroeconomic and climate perspective, biomethane is now the most cost-effective, climate-friendly fuel for achieving progress towards climate targets and sustainable transport in Germany and the EU. This all-rounder is virtually carbon-neutral, storable and therefore continuously available – and so not only of interest to the transport sector.

In addition, the all-rounder can be used wherever fossil natural gas had been used previously to date: this includes CHP applications, demand-based power and heat generation, and use as an input material in the chemicals industry.

Biomethane is therefore an important building block for the energy transition.

An advanced fuel

As carbon-neutral fuels, bio-LNG (liquefied natural gas) and bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) have obvious advantages: in the transport sector alone, switching to biomethane from fossil fuels could cut CO2 emissions by up to 200 percent.

For this reason, we are tapping into a new market as a plant manufacturer by constructing Germany’s first integrated bio-LNG plant, which will make heavy goods vehicle transport greener while allowing biogas plant operators to profit. As a result of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required from the German fuel mix by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), ambitious green fuel production is now being implemented for the first time. As per RED II, those placing fuels on the market must now cut their GHG emissions by 25 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

 We therefore offer you the option of continuing to operate your biogas plant in a cost-effective way once state subsidies come to an end either by selling your biomethane or liquefying it into bio-LNG.


To boost the share of heat from renewable sources to 14 percent by 2020, using biomethane in combined heat and power (cogeneration) plant is one of the most sustainable technologies currently available. Especially in cases where other kinds of renewable energy technologies or measures to reduce energy requirements are not deployable to the extent needed for structural reasons. The use of biomethane in heating-only applications is a useful alternative.

There are several usage models for biomethane-based heating. Typical consumers are the plant operator’s own property or business premises, housing complexes or public facilities fed via heating grids, as well as horticultural, commercial and manufacturing companies. All of this makes biomethane an inexpensive and efficient renewable energy option on the heating market. 


A reliable electricity supply requires a balance between electricity production and demand at all times. Accordingly, the load at any point in time must be met by a guaranteed level of (power generation) performance.

As power generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power plants starts to be wound down, alternative solutions to provide this level of performance are required. Flexible power generation plants are a viable option here: these can respond quickly to changes in electricity generation from the fluctuating feed-in of renewable energy sources and handle the tasks required to secure the energy supply. The use of biomethane enables the provisioning of the relevant system services on the basis of renewable energy sources and so reduces the need for fossil-based power plants. 

CO2 recovery

The CO2 produced during gas upgrading can be reused and liquefied (for example). The ultrapure carbon dioxide achieved using the membrane process offers an interesting additional source of revenue for plant operators.  It can be utilised in a wide variety of industries (such as the food industry, in horticulture, for firefighting or in refrigeration plants).

Many opportunities – a single point of contact: EnviTec

Whichever sustainable solution you opt for, we offer you a complete package of know-how and expertise in raw gas generation and purification, planning, tailor-made construction of gas upgrading plants and the many uses for the biomethane produced. We also offer our customers 24/7 after sales support, provided by a dedicated, local service team. This gives you a single point of contact for all your needs, available around the clock.