AB Energy – Biogas-to-RNG
A Better Way
Since 1981, AB has tackled the challenges posed by energy sustainability, working alongside their customers to improve their competitiveness while saving energy and reducing emissions. From their earliest days, they have focused on innovation to develop world-class technologies and processes dedicated to transforming the world of energy.
AB’s objective is to ensure their customers benefit from the best energy sustainability solutions available anywhere.
The AB Group now boasts over 1,000 employees in 20 countries throughout Europe, Russia and North and South America, with primary production and engineering centralized in a state-of-the-art industrial complex located in Orzinuovi, Province of Brescia, Italy.
AB’s customers rely on AB to develop the “Better Way” to support them with the skills, technologies, and processes, so they perform at their best. Together, we are helping build a better world.
AB Strives to be the global reference point for energy sustainability. For AB developing innovation at the service of their customers’ energy means making businesses more sustainable, competitive, and virtuous, reducing consumption, increasing efficiency, and providing customers with advanced technologies and a high-quality service.
RNG (renewable natural gas) is obtained by putting raw biogas through a purification process called upgrading. Raw biogas can be obtained from anaerobic digestion of various raw materials including agricultural biomass (by-products, agricultural waste and animal waste).
Once the biogas-to-RNG upgrading has been carried out, it must be refined, in order to eliminate the components that are not suitable for feeding the gas into the network (CO2).
Biogas-to-RNG upgrading is a complex treatment whose result is the removal of CO2 from raw biogas. The process consists of several phases: a first pre-treatment step, followed by a purification phase, i.e. of removal of pollutants (H2S, VOCS) from biogas coming from the anaerobic digester and a final phase of methane separation (CH4) from carbon dioxide.
The end result is a renewable energy source, biomethane, which reduces emissions, exploiting existing networks and increasing national production, with positive repercussions in terms of circularity in the use of resources in the agri-food sector.
The advantages of RNG-to-Biogas include:
- Sustainability- As it is produced from agricultural biomasses, agro-industrial waste, and organic waste, RNG can be considered to all intents and purposes a renewable and sustainable source: in addition to reducing emissions into the atmosphere, it is carbon neutral, that is, it totally offsets the emissions produced, as it returns organic matter to the soil
- Flexibility- RNG adapts flexibly to multiple uses, from energy production to distributed generation and fuel for the transport sector. It is completely like natural gas and can therefore make use of existing transport and storage infrastructures
- Circularity- In the agricultural sector, RNG can contribute to significantly reduced production costs and at the same time to increase competitiveness. The digestate (what remains after the anaerobic digestion process of agricultural matrices) can in fact be used as a natural fertilizer, capable of increasing the capacity of the soil to absorb and store carbon
Among the most widespread and effective there is, is the biogas-to-RNG upgrading using selective membranes, also chosen by AB for BIOCH4NGE®: the use of particular polymeric materials that have a selective permeability to separate CH4 and CO2 and that guarantee perfect purification from carbon dioxide, thus reducing biogas loss during upgrading to almost zero.
Technology Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
Anaerobic Digester Associated Technology:
NOTE: There are several technology types that are used as part of an integrated manure management system that includes an anaerobic digester and are not applicable to manure management in other cases. The impact of these technologies on the critical indicators are represented as those of an entire anaerobic digester system.
- Long usable life and can be run reliably
- Creates energy and generates environmental credits
- Requires proper preparation of the feedstock
- Requires other technologies for energy utilization
- Requires other technologies for digestate handling
- Proper feeding & system monitoring is required to avoid system downtime
- Proven technology for odor control, GHG reduction and pathogen reduction
AB Energy has recently been added to the Newtrient catalog. Newtrient will continue to work with AB Energy to further refine the cost and performance information on their technologies and services. Newtrient will update this entry as more information becomes available and as new commercial dairy installations come online.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY