Biomethanisation of CO2 in anaerobic digestion plants

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment

Abstract

The research will create a hybrid anaerobic digestion process in which hydrogen made from renewable energy sources (e.g. wind and photovoltaics) is used to produce biomethane at more than 95% purity. The process therefore provides an efficient in situ biogas upgrading technique which will maximise the conversion of the available carbon in waste biomass into a fuel product that has a wide range of applications, including short-term storage for grid balancing and use as a vehicle fuel. The process is likely to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable than current methods for biogas upgrading as there is reduced process loss of methane. The target is to develop the system for use in the water industry where there is a large potential to integrate it into existing infrastructure and to maximise the use of process heat and other by-products. A second targeted application is at a smaller scale on farms, where there is an abundant supply of waste biomass and a lack of suitable biogas upgrading plant.

Planned Impact

As described in proposal submitted to Innovate UK
 
Description ADNet BIV
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BIV2016013 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Department Anaerobic Digestion Network (AD Network)
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 10/2017
 
Description BBSRC Anaerobic Digestion Network Seeding Catalyst Funding
Amount £49,879 (GBP)
Funding ID SC2017002 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description Business Interaction Voucher
Amount £4,971 (GBP)
Funding ID BIV2017001 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 04/2018
 
Description Industry Fellowship
Amount £123,285 (GBP)
Funding ID IF160022 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop Grant-2
Amount £39,600 (GBP)
Funding ID 216405884 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 10/2016
 
Description Application to Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Round 6 (first round success, final decision not yet notified) 
Organisation LEAP micro AD Ltd
PI Contribution The University of Sheffield is part of this Biomethanisation project, supported by the University of Southampton. The AD Network has been working with LEAP since its inception, and helped to broker this partnership.
Collaborator Contribution LEAP: are community micro-AD experts, having run systems in London for 6+ years and as supporters of the AD Network BIV 2016001. Sativa founded Tiny Leaf, an organic zero waste vegetarian restaurant. Principal has advisory roles in UN World Food Program and SDG2 Advocacy Hub. He leads the Chefs' Manifesto team for Global Sustainability Goals 2030 and is founder of Sativa Vertical Farm Circular Restaurant. Partners will provide on-the-ground AD expertise and sites in London for potential biomethanisation project. University of Sheffield will provide sub-contract biomethanisation expertise, with the support of the University of Southampton.
Impact Currently, the partnership is awaiting the results of the EEF Round 6 which has been delayed and should have been announced by now. Nevertheless, Sativa's zero waste principles mean that they are keen to collaborate in order to fulfil their ambitions to utilise their food waste on site through AD for a number of further uses.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Application to Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Round 6 (first round success, final decision not yet notified) 
Organisation Sativa Holdings Limited
PI Contribution The University of Sheffield is part of this Biomethanisation project, supported by the University of Southampton. The AD Network has been working with LEAP since its inception, and helped to broker this partnership.
Collaborator Contribution LEAP: are community micro-AD experts, having run systems in London for 6+ years and as supporters of the AD Network BIV 2016001. Sativa founded Tiny Leaf, an organic zero waste vegetarian restaurant. Principal has advisory roles in UN World Food Program and SDG2 Advocacy Hub. He leads the Chefs' Manifesto team for Global Sustainability Goals 2030 and is founder of Sativa Vertical Farm Circular Restaurant. Partners will provide on-the-ground AD expertise and sites in London for potential biomethanisation project. University of Sheffield will provide sub-contract biomethanisation expertise, with the support of the University of Southampton.
Impact Currently, the partnership is awaiting the results of the EEF Round 6 which has been delayed and should have been announced by now. Nevertheless, Sativa's zero waste principles mean that they are keen to collaborate in order to fulfil their ambitions to utilise their food waste on site through AD for a number of further uses.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Application to Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Round 6 (first round success, final decision not yet notified) 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The University of Sheffield is part of this Biomethanisation project, supported by the University of Southampton. The AD Network has been working with LEAP since its inception, and helped to broker this partnership.
Collaborator Contribution LEAP: are community micro-AD experts, having run systems in London for 6+ years and as supporters of the AD Network BIV 2016001. Sativa founded Tiny Leaf, an organic zero waste vegetarian restaurant. Principal has advisory roles in UN World Food Program and SDG2 Advocacy Hub. He leads the Chefs' Manifesto team for Global Sustainability Goals 2030 and is founder of Sativa Vertical Farm Circular Restaurant. Partners will provide on-the-ground AD expertise and sites in London for potential biomethanisation project. University of Sheffield will provide sub-contract biomethanisation expertise, with the support of the University of Southampton.
Impact Currently, the partnership is awaiting the results of the EEF Round 6 which has been delayed and should have been announced by now. Nevertheless, Sativa's zero waste principles mean that they are keen to collaborate in order to fulfil their ambitions to utilise their food waste on site through AD for a number of further uses.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Biomethanation feasibility study with CNES, Stornoway 
Organisation Western Isles Council
PI Contribution The collaboration will assess the potential benefits of the implementation of hydrogen biomethanation in an existing AD plant at the Creed Enterprise Park in Stornoway. The Creed Park site has a variety of energy systems already installed including a waste fed AD plant and CHP, a wind turbine, an electrolyser and a thermal store, and a hydrogen vehicle refuelling station, the combination of which would make this an ideal site for a pilot demonstration of biomethanation. Initially the the work be a high level modelling study, enhanced by detailed process modelling of the H2AD process, initially predicting the improvements in produced biogas quality by the AD plant, and later quantifying the potential benefits of this on the wider integrated energy system. The contribution of the University of Sheffield will comprise of site data collection/processing, modeling of the AD system integrated with biomethanation, high level modelling of the integration of AD, biomethanation, wind and hydrogen refueling, and a summary report on the benefits in terms of electricity production, emission and revenue.
Collaborator Contribution The contribution made so far by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been in data provision and project meetings.
Impact Successful research funding proposal to ADNet - Business Interaction Voucher (BIV2017001).
Start Year 2017
 
Description AD Monitoring Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop to discuss UK AD research at the University of Warwick
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ADNet Research Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research symposium to report pump-priming work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description BORRG presentation - Gomez Gato and Escobar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentations by Gabriel Gomez Gato and Javier Escobar Ortiz on work carried out during Erasmus+ placements in conjunction with IBCat H2AD project (under the supervision of PDRA Dr Alba Serna Maza) and the BioWaMet project (under the supervision of PDRA Dr Craig Dolder). Approx 30 attendees. Stimulated interests in exchange programmes as well as in research topics covered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Creed Park AD plant biomethanisation post 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Post on University of Southampton Environment Lab Facebook site describing start of collaboration with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and potential for biomethanisation case study. Viewed by over 230 people including local and regional government. See post 83 on 06/12/2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.facebook.com/pg/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/posts/?ref=page_internal
 
Description Facebook post 52 Soton Env Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Post on project background and start-up of preliminary experiments on RCUK IB Catalyst H2AD project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton
 
Description First Turkey-UK international workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote speakler and participant in Biobased Approaches on Renewable Energy Technologies, Izmir, Turkey
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://egeduyuru.ege.edu.tr/dosyalar/biyo.pdf
 
Description IB Cat H2AD project page BORRG Soton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Project webpage on Bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bioenergy.soton.ac.uk/projects/IB%20Cat%20H2%20151125.pdf
 
Description IB Cat H2AD project page Soton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Project webpage on University of Southampton website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/research/projects/biomethanisationofco2inanaerobicdigestion...
 
Description IB Cat H2AD project page York 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Project webpage on York University website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pure.york.ac.uk/portal/en/projects/biomethanisation-of-co2-in-anaerobic-digestion-plants--le...
 
Description IBCat H2AD BORRG Presentation 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by Dr Michael Fagbohungbe on 18/07/2016 to Bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group (BORRG) at the University of Southampton, plus external visitors and guests, summarising research progress and results. Approximately 35 participants. Presentation subsequently circulated to attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description IBCat H2AD BORRG presentation (Tao) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of results from IBCat H2AD to meeting of Bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group (www.bioenergy.soton.ac.uk) at the University of Southampton by Dr Bing Tao on 18/10/2017. Approx. 30 attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description IBCat H2AD BORRG presentation (Zhang) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation on results from IBCat H2AD project to the bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group (BORRG, www.bioenergy.soton.ac.uk) at the University of Southampton, plus visiting researchers; by Wei Zhang, approx. 20 attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IBCat H2AD Erasmus collaboration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Post on collaborative work being carried out in an Erasmus+ exchange with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, on the IBCat H2AD project. (EP/M028208/1). Item viewed by 875 people with 12 Likes. See post 119 on 14 November on https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/posts/835729996588126
 
Description IBCat H2AD Facebook update 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact University of Southampton Environment Lab Facebook post describing University of Sheffield's work on scenario development for IBCat H2AD and rational for the project. Viewed by more than 200 people to date. See post 93 on 01/03/2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/
 
Description IBCat H2AD Poster presentation Vienna workshop 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation on evaluation of membranes for mass transfer of H2 into anaerobic digesters for biomethanisation at the 2-day workshop on ABE production and CO2/H2 fermentation in Vienna 10-11 Nov 2016. Abstracts available from workshop website. This was a joint presentation between IBCat H2AD (EP/M028208/1) and the BBSRC ADnet-funded project on 'Effective mass transfer of hydrogen into digester mixed liquor for biomethanisation of biogas CO2' (POC2014011).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://clostridia.boku.ac.at/wordpress/
 
Description IBCat H2AD REGATEC poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Poster presentation on results of IBCat H2AD in situ biomethanisation work by Dr Bing Tao.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://regatec.org/tag/regatec-2017/
 
Description IBCat H2AD industry partner workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Industry / academic workshop for scenario scoping for biomethanisation of CO2 held for IBCat H2AD project in Sheffield on 26 July 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IBCat H2AD lab update 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Posting on laboratory activities on IBCat H2AD project (EP/M028208/1), with details of some equipment. Posted 6 June 2017, viewed by over 300 people, 16 Likes. For related posts see https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/posts/758599630967830
 
Description IBCat H2AD presentation ADNet ECR conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of results of IBCat H2AD project to ADNet Early Career Researcher Conference 3-4 July 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description IP round-up 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Update on work being undertaken by Year 3 engineering students as part of their individual projects, including research linked to the EPSRC-funded IBCat H2AD project (EP/M028208/1). Item seen by over 900 people with 5 Likes. See post 118 on 8 Nov 2018 https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/posts/833482523479540
 
Description Research Colloquium poster sessions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentations at ADNet Research Colloquium Sept 2017 on research being carried out as part of Newton Link with NUCE, and from ERA-Net AmbiGAs project, IBCat H2ad and CLEANFIBER. Also publicised on social media - see Facebook post 114 on 24 Sept 2017 https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/environmental.lab.university.of.southampton/posts/811962112298248
 
Description STEM for Britain HoC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Poster Presentation by Dr Anna Alessi at the STEM for Britain 2018 event in the house of commons on "Prehistoric powerstation for 21st century energy production"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.setforbritain.org.uk/2018event.asp
 
Description Seminar, Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar, University of Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar, University of Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminar
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UK - India Partnering Symposium and Workshop RCUK 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Charles Banks gave a presentation at a research symposium at the Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai on 9 Jan 2017. The main topic area of the symposium was gas fermentations and speakers included academics and professionals from the UK and their counterparts in India. Prof Banks' presentation made reference to the IBCat H2AD project, as it is directly relevant to some of the technical issues of gas transfer into fermenter systems and to the potential for using methane as a substrate. He also mentioned to the work in PyroAD because of the potential for use of pyrolysis gases. , The Mumbai symposium was followed by a workshop on 10 Jan 2017 which further developed these topics and in which Prof Banks chaired 3 sessions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017