Watt d’Or Award presented to power-to-gas project featuring HZI Technology

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The power-to-gas plant operated by Limmat Valley utility Limeco has received the prestigious Watt d'Or 2023 award in the energy technology category.
The award is presented annually by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).
During the award ceremony, which was held in mid-January in Bern, Hitachi Zosen Inova's technology also received this commendation of energy excellence - for biological methanation technology used in Dietikon. It was developed by Hitachi Zosen Inova Schmack (HZI Schmack).
The company said the hallmarks of the lighthouse project on a site shared with an energy-from-waste facility and wastewater treatment plant are highly efficient resource utilisation and a groundbreaking combination of technologies for producing renewable energy.
A core component of the plant is a methanation reactor from HZI Schmack in which hydrogen reacts with the carbon dioxide (CO2) it contains while biogenic digester gas is fed in - producing green synthetic methane.
The Limeco project is the first in Europe to produce a natural gas substitute on an industrial scale on the basis of HZI Schmack’s biological methanation process BiON. It is making a pioneering contribution to the transformation of the Swiss energy system.
Third Award for HZI Schmack Tech
HZI Schmack, based in Schwandorf in Bavaria, is a specialist in fermentative biogas production and methanogenesis (biomethanation). The company emerged just over a year ago from the integration of Schmack Biogas Service and microbEnergy, two traditional brands that had developed biological methanation to market maturity.
The Watt d'Or therefore also recognised the German HZI company’s achievements as a technology developer and the outstanding commitment of the project group, which included Doris Schmack, head of R&D biological processes at HZI Schmack. She commented as follows: “Following the Rudolf-Diesel-Medaille and the German gas industry’s special award, this is the third major award for our biological methanation technology. It underscores our commitment to this key technology as one of the components of the transformed energy supply system of the future.”
HZI Schmack CEO Manuel Götz added: “The technology makes a valuable contribution to the decarbonisation of the economy. This award doesn’t just recognise the pioneering spirit of our client, but also the performance of the plant: the natural gas substitute produced can save around 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year – the amount generated by around 2,000 households.”

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