The volume of biogas produced in agricultural areas is expected to increase in coming years. An increasing number of local and regional initiatives show a growing interest in decentralized energy production, wherein biogas can play a role. Biogas transport from production sites to user, i.e. a CHP, boiler or an upgrading installation, induces a scale advantage and an efficiency increase. Therefore the exploration of the costs and energy use of biogas transport using a dedicated infrastructure is needed. A model was developed to describe a regional biogas grid that is used to collect biogas from several digesters and deliver it to a central point. The model minimizes transport costs per volumetric unit of biogas in a region. Results are presented for different digester scales, different sizes of the biomass source area and two types of grid lay-out: a star lay-out and a fishbone lay-out. The model shows that transport costs in a fishbone lay-out are less than 10 Vct m3 for a digester scale of 100 m3 h1; for the star lay-outcosts can go up to 45 Vct m3. For 1800 m3 h1 digesters, these values are 4.0 Vct m3 and 6.1 Vct m3, respectively. The results indicate that cooperation between biogas producers in collecting biogas by means of a fishbone lay-out reduces the biogas transport costs relative to using a star lay-out. Merging smaller digesters into a smaller number of larger ones reduces the costs of biogas transport for the same biomass source area.
Hengeveld, E. J., Bekkering, J., van Gemert, W., & Broekhuis, A. A. (2016). Biogas infrastructures from farm to regional scale, prospects of biogas transport grids. Biomass and bioenergy, 86(March), 43-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2016.01.005