Improvement of Biogas Quality and Quantity for Small-Scale Biogas-Electricity Generation Application in off-Grid Settings: A Field-Based Study

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Abstract

Small-scale electrical power generation (<100 kW) from biogas plants to provide off-grid electricity is of growing interest. Currently, gas engines are used to meet this demand. Alternatively, more efficient small-scale solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can be used to enhance electricity generation from small-scale biogas plants. Most electricity generators require a constant gas supply and high gas quality in terms of absence of impurities like H 2S. Therefore, to efficiently use the biogas from existing decentralized anaerobic digesters for electricity production, higher quality and stable biogas flow must be guaranteed. The installation of a biogas upgrading and buffer system could be considered; however, the cost implication could be high at a small scale as compared to locally available alterna-tives such as co-digestion and improved digester operation. Therefore, this study initially describes relevant literature related to feedstock pre-treatment, co-digestion and user operational practices of small-scale digesters, which theoretically could lead to major improvements of anaerobic digestion process efficiency. The theoretical preamble is then coupled to the results of a field study, which demonstrated that many locally available resources and user practices constitute frugal innovations with potential to improve biogas quality and digester performance in off-grid settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3088
Number of pages20
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • biogas quality
  • biogas quantity
  • anaerobic digestion
  • electricity generation
  • pre-treatment
  • co-digestion
  • user practices

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