Production of vehicle gas with ash filter technology at farm level

The project is implemented within the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The aim is to develop a system for production of biomethane (vehicle fuel quality) with ash filter technology at farm level. Ash filter is a simple technology that has the potential to be cost-effective for small-scale vehicle gas production, for example at biogas plants on farm level and smaller wastewater treatment plants. The project is ongoing during the years 2020-2022 and is being implemented by RISE (project manager), Västra Götalandsregionen Naturbruksförvaltningen and Nordic Gas Solutions.

By upgrading biogas, the gas gets a higher value compared to today’s normal use for cogeneration of electricity and heat. In addition, the farmer can use the gas to offset the farms vehicle fuel costs. Biogas as a vehicle fuel leads to significant environmental benefits by replacing fossil fuels. Furthermore, small-scale production of vehicle fuel quality biogas (biomethane) contributes to increased energy security by making fuel production more decentralized.

The project has two final goals:

  • Produce a system for upgrading biogas to vehicle fuel quality with a front-end-loader-handled ash filter at farm level. This system is primarily aimed at the smallest farm biogas plants (corresponding to farms with approximately 60–300 dairy cows or a biogas production of 0.15–1 GWh / year). The system can be designed to either upgrade all gas on the farm or only upgrade the amount of gas that the farm can use internally as vehicle fuel, while the remaining gas can be used for electricity and heat production.
  • Build and test a prototype for an automated ash filter system suitable for medium-sized and larger farm biogas plants. This prototype will not reach the same degree of technical maturity as the front-end-loader-managed system but is a natural next step for the innovation and is aimed at a broader and larger market, i.e. larger biogas plants / customers (approx. 1-3 GWh / year).

The system with a front-end-loader-handled ash filter will be installed at Naturbruksskolan Sötåsens farm based biogas plant and the produced biomethane will be used to refuel the farm’s biogas tractor and biogas cars.

The project includes designing, manufacturing and installing the ash filter system as well as designing technical systems for the sale of the gas and looking at a concept for ash handling. Furthermore, various possible company formations will be investigated to find solutions to the challenges of accessing the market for vehicle gas from a small-scale biogas plant and to be able to ensure economical, efficient and sustainable ash management.