Improvement of Biogas Quality and Quantity for Small-Scale Biogas-Electricity Generation Application in off-Grid Settings: A Field-Based Study
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 H2S. 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 alternatives such as co-digestion and improved digester operation.
Therefore, this study by Henry Wasajja, Saqr A. A. Al-Muraisy, Antonella L. Piaggio, Pamela Ceron-Chafla,Purushothaman Vellayani Aravind, Henri Spanjers, Jules B. van Lier and Ralph E. F. Lindeboom 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.
Keywords: biogas quality; biogas quantity; anaerobic digestion; electricity generation; pre-treatment; co-digestion; user practices
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3088; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113088
Received: 3 April 2021 / Revised: 25 April 2021 / Accepted: 21 May 2021 / Published: 26 May 2021
This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Biogas Production