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Bio-SNG feasibility study published

Commissioned by NEPIC, National Grid and Centrica, a feasibility study reviewing the use of Bio-SNG (synthetic natural gas) delivered via the gas grid as a way to decarbonise road transport and heat has been published.

The study concluded that Bio-SNG offers the possibility of substantial scale renewable methane production, while the major processes required to produce Bio-SNG can be identified and assembled using existing technologies. The study also found that the estimated costs of Bio-SNG for a large-scale plant are competitive with other renewable energy technologies.

Bio-SNG was found to save around 90% CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuel alternatives. It is also more cost-effective per tonne of CO2 abated than heat pumps for domestic and commercial biomass heating, and more cost-effective than electrical solutions for transport applications.

Bio-SNG is formed during the conversion of synthetic gas into methane. Unlike biomethane produced by anaerobic digestion, feedstocks can include more durable material such as woody biomass and wastes that are not broken down in traditional anaerobic digester plants.

For heating, the study demonstrated that the cost per tonne of carbon abated appears to be lower than domestic and commercial biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps.

Similarly, for transportation, with the Bio-SNG delivered by the gas grid to customers and then made into CNG for use as a road fuel, the cost per tonne of CO2 abated appears to be significantly lower than the cost for electric vehicles and is a credible option for trucks where the electric option is not practical.

Source: CNG Services