A UK based pilot plant has successfully converted waste collected from homes in Swindon into methane, the primary component of natural gas.
The production of methane is an important landmark in the three year project that will demonstrate the technical, commercial and environmental benefits of the production of natural gas from waste.
The pilot plant gasified refuse derived fuel, produced from mixed household “black bag” waste, to produce a so called synthesis gas which was then cleaned in a high temperature plasma furnace to remove tars and other contaminants. The clean gas then underwent a series of catalysed reactions to convert it into methane.
The £5m BioSNG project is run by a consortium including National Grid, Advanced Plasma Power and Progressive Energy and has been supported by the Ofgem Network Innovation Competition and the BESTF bioenergy initiative.
The first production of methane was achieved on 31st August 2016. The project will continue for the next six months and will produce a fuel from waste that is indistinguishable from the gas used to heat homes at present.
Rolf Stein, CEO of Advanced Plasma Power, commented “This major achievement clearly demonstrates that Advanced Plasma Power’s Gasplasma® gasification process produces a high-quality, tar free syngas that can be used to manufacture advanced fuels.”
David Parkin, Director of Network Strategy at National Grid said “Producing green gas from waste is one the few routes to providing low cost, low carbon heat. The BioSNG pilot plant is an important demonstration of the feasibility of this important technology.”
Dr Chris Manson-Whitton, Director of Progressive Energy said “This game changing approach unlocks the large volumes of renewable gas needed to deliver low carbon heat without disruption to the consumer. This is a significant milestone towards widespread deployment.”