Hitachi Zosen Inova’s biomethane construction with VERBIO

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Hitachi Zosen Inova BioMethan, on behalf of VERBIO, is taking on the construction of a biomethane gas upgrading unit at VERBIO’s site in Zörbig, Germany.  

The biomethane produced by VERBIO will in future be liquefied in a bioLNG installation and marketed as vehicle fuel. The project partners see this as a decisive step towards reduced dependence on fossil fuels and ongoing decarbonisation. For HZI this is the first CO2 polishing project and its first joint project with VERBIO. 

VERBIO has been producing biomethane at this location since 2011. The renewable gas is produced exclusively from residues and used as biofuel for CNG-powered vehicles.  

The fuel reduces CO2 by at least 90 percent versus diesel and petrol, and is suitable for powering cars, lorries and local buses. So far, all the biomethane produced has been fed into the natural gas grid and supplied as bioCNG in gaseous form at CNG stations. In the future, the biomethane will be liquefied and offered as bioLNG - it has potential as a fuel for long-haul heavy goods vehicles. 

“Rising electricity, natural gas and oil prices and the adoption of substantially more ambitious 2030 climate goals for transport have been accompanied by an increase in demand for advanced biofuels such as our residue-based biomethane. In the medium term, biomethane is the only available climate-friendly alternative to diesel, especially for heavy goods vehicles. For this reason, we have set the goal, in collaboration with our expert engineering and project management partner HZI, of getting our bioLNG project in Zörbig into operation as early as 2023,” explained professor Oliver Lüdtke, the VERBIO executive in charge of bioethanol and biomethane technology. 

Since the biomethane used already meets the required natural gas quality standard, less CO2 has to be removed from the volume flow to upgrade it for use as a vehicle fuel. This means that despite its smaller dimensions, the CO2polishing unit can increase volume flows and throughput. 

For the VERBIO project, Hitachi Zosen Inova’s gas upgrading technology has been modified to enable significantly higher throughput in the scrubbing tower. The purified biomethane is then dried and fed on into the liquefaction unit. The low concentration of CO2 in the feedgas also allows proven, standardised amine regeneration from the gas upgrading process to be deployed in a compact container construction, despite the increased throughput. HZI is thus expanding the existing A-Series with a pressure-controlled system variant for CO2 polishing. 


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