German Environment Minister Dr Norbert Röttgen gave the official green light for a new VERBIO biorefinery in Schwedt/Oder, which produces bioethanol, biogas and bio-fertilizer from biomass residues. The second Verbio biogas plant of this kind, it has a power output of 30 MW in the initial stage, and is to be expanded to 75 MW.
Verbio cascades the utilization of the biomass with its concept of co-siting a bioethanol plant, biogas plant and bio-fertilizer plant. The biofuels produced in this way achieve a greenhouse gas reduction of up to 90% compared with gasoline, according to the company. Multiple utilization of the raw materials used means that they can be almost entirely converted into energy, Verbio says. The bio-fertilizer, a by-product of the bio-refinery, is returned to the agricultural cycle.
verbiogas is produced exclusively from biomass residues materials such as slope, a by-product of bioethanol production, and straw. The biogas is processed to the same quality standard as natural gas, and then fed into the existing natural gas network and made available as a fuel at natural gas filling stations.
This was awarded the biogas innovation prize by the German Energy Agency (dena) in December 2010.
From early 2011 onwards, Verbio will have around 500 GWh of verbiogas from the plants in Schwedt and Zörbig; production will be increased to 2,000 GWh by 2015.
A German Energy Agency working group dedicated to significantly increasing the share of natural gas and biogas in the German fuel mix and the number of natural gas vehicles in Germany was set up at the end of 2010. Verbio is working alongside leading car manufacturers, mineral oil companies, Erdgas Mobil and consumer associations to devise an action plan by mid-2011. The results will be incorporated in the German government’s new mobility and fuel strategy.
Source: Green Car Congress, 2011-03-02.