By Micaela Tuckwell
The VERBIO biogas plant will produce second-generation biofuel exclusively from biomass residues materials such as slope, a by-product of bioethanol production, and straw.
Significantly, no foodstuffs are to be used in its production which German Environment Minister Dr Norbert Röttgen points out will help, “alleviate the conflicts in use between bioenergy and food production.”
When completed the biogas created at the plant (verbiogas) will be fed into the existing natural gas network and made available as a fuel at natural gas filling stations, generating 30 MW of power in its initial stages, increasing to 75 MW in the latter stages.
Claus Sauter, CEO of VERBIO comments: "Our verbiogas is the solution for making biofuels a viable replacement for fossil fuels in environmental and economic terms. As an alternative fuel to petrol or diesel, the VERBIO biogas can help to reach or even beat the CO2 emissions target of 95 g/km for newly registered passenger cars set by the EU for 2020 much more quickly. verbiogas is produced from biomass residues, achieves a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases compared with petrol, is already competitive and is a genuine second-generation biofuel.”
Research compiled by bodies such as the German Energy Agency and CAR Research have in recent years confirmed the potential of natural gas and biogas as a fuel and are also working to increase the share of natural gas and biogas in the German fuel mix, as well as the number of natural gas vehicles in Germany.
These studies will be incorporated into the German Government’s new mobility and fuel strategy, providing a key element in meeting the climate protection targets set for 2020. These specify a 10% increase in the share of bio-components in the fuel mix.