Ecospray and Ruhe advance biomethane projects

Italian company Ecospray and Germany-based Ruhe have signed new agreements for the supply of two biomethane plants and three CO2-liquefaction plants for customers of Green Line Liquid Anlagenbau, which is an affiliated company of Ruhe Group.

The construction of a complete system for pre-treatment, upgrading, liquefaction of biomethane and the liquefaction of CO2, with associated storage and cryogenic tank filling are all involved in each of the projects.

The first project is expected to produce eight tonnes of bioLNG daily, while the second one, an ongoing construction, is set to produce three tonnes per day, equalling output from the original collaboration between Ecospray and Ruhe that began in 2021.

Ecospray director of industry and renewables Giorgio Copelli said: “For Ecospray, these new projects are a source of enormous pride because they further strengthen a relationship based on trust and collaboration with one of the most important German agricultural companies. They are a leader in the production of sustainable energy and a trailblazer in Germany when it comes to the use of bioLNG.”

Ruhe Biogas Service chief technical officer Boris Drewes said: “The technology is easy to use and we can offer it as a standard product for various plant sizes. Our goal is to establish this product together with our partners for the decentralised production of alternative fuels in Germany and Europe.”

“Considering the exponential importance of the energy transition, decentralised energy and fuel supply are more crucial than ever. Thanks to the decentralised standardised module, which can be set up for biogas plants from electrical power of 500 kW and higher, it is possible to provide a solution for biogas plants after the end of the EEG (German Renewable Energy directive), especially for biogas plants with a high proportion of liquid manure, manure, and residues,” Ecospray said.

“We share the same vision as Ruhe and the same trust in this technology as a tool for achieving decarbonisation by 2050,” said Ecospray president Maurizio Archetti. “The construction of these new plants, which also include CO2 capture and liquefaction, is a significant milestone in our journey towards the creation of clean energy for a zero-emissions planet. The development of various carbon-capture technologies is, in fact, one of the projects we are investing most in, not only for land transport but also for the marine sector.”

Furthermore, Ecospray presented three new carbon capture technologies, two involving the use of chemicals and one utilising molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC). The chemical carbon capture technologies are set to be trialled on board vessels in 2022 and 2023, while the MCFC prototypes would be ready by the end of 2022.

“The absorption of CO2 through the use of amines is the first technology that can be implemented both in terms of readiness and with regard to the potential sectors for application. Indeed, this technology is based on an approach that is already well-established in other industrial sectors, which Ecospray has also rendered usable in the marine sector, thus reducing the environmental impact and energy consumption of ships. The latter are two factors that are of lower priority in sectors such as the oil industry, but which become essential as soon as the technology is installed on board a ship – reliability is undoubtedly the greatest advantage of this solution, along with the non-hazardous nature of the chemicals used,” Ecospray said.

“The absorption of CO2 using calcium hydroxide appears to be the best technology available at present in terms of the capital required for the application and use of this technology. This system requires space for the bulk storage of the chemical reagent on board, but not that of the CO2 itself: it is therefore ideal for installations on bulk carrier ships,” according to Ecospray.

“Technologies based on molten carbonate fuel cells enable the capture of CO2 at the same time as energy production. As such, these technologies are considered strategic in the context of the energy transition, precisely due to their capacity to capture the carbon dioxide in exhaust fumes and generate additional clean energy. This is undoubtedly the most technologically complex solution, but it is also that which guarantees the best results in terms of reductions in emissions, as well as keeping operating expenses low for companies. The ideal application for these technologies is not limited to a particular type of ship: they can be used on all types of engines (2-stroke and 4-stroke) and with all fuels, HFO and LNG,” Ecospray said.

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