SLU Biogas Center

Last changed: 14 October 2020
A green cylindrical building with a red low house in front, photo.

At SLU we work with the whole biogas chain. An unique feature for our research is that we answer questions about both energy generation and waste treatment. We have our own biogas plant as well as top modern laboratories.

How is biogas produced?

Biogas is produced through degradation of organic material in a complex microbial process. The process occurs spontaneously in nature but can also be used for controlled degradation of various organic waste streams in constructed reactors. As biogas contains methane, an energy-rich compound.

Blue, cylindrical machines in a row indoors, photo.
We generate basic knowledge in our laboratory on biogas production from different type of organic waste materials from municipalities as well as from agriculture and crops.Photo: Ingo Ecke.
A tractor on a green field, photo.
We evaluate various issues related to biogas production at farms. Cropping systems, waste management, energy production and recycling of nutrients are in focus. Foto: Maria Westholm.
Green buses tank electricity, photo.
Biogas can be used to produce electricity, heat or fuel for vehicles. At SLU, we study small-scale upgrading techniques for vehicle fuel. Photo: Anna Schnürer.

SLU units dealing with biogas

Department of Molecular Sciences

Substrate, Process biology, Quality of biogas residue

Department of Energy and Technology

System studies, Liquid biofuels, Hygiene

Department of Economics

Economical evaluation

Department of Biosystems and Technology

Sustainable Farming Systems, Technology

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Sustainable community planning

Lövsta research centre

Production facility for biogas

Education in biogas, waste management and energy at SLU

Programs

Freestanding courses

  • Waste management
  • On-site wastewater systems, nutrient recovery and sewage sludge treatment
  • Safe Nutrient Recycling
  • Bioenergy - Technology and Systems
  • Biogas in the sustainable society (given in Swedish)

Search for freestanding courses at SLU here.

Methane can be used for:

  • Production of heat
  • Production of electricity
  • Vehicle fuel

In addition, the biogas processs also results in a degradation residue, called digestate, which serves as an excellent fertilizer.

The unique biogas system includes both generation of energy and waste treatment. The biogas, consisting of methane and carbon dioxide, can be used as fuel for vehicles, heating and to generate electricity.  The biogas system works both at large and small scales which makes it interesting for both industrialized and developing countries. Illustration: Cajsa Lithell.

We have international collaborations and work with end users

We evaluated various aspects of biogas production from many different materials, often in collaboration with researchers at other universities but also with organizations, farmers, municipalities and businesses. We work both nationally and internationally.

Research activities at the SLU Biogas Center relate to areas such as:

  • Production systems for biomass
  • Pretreatments
  • Substrate utilization
  • Process biology
  • Gas upgrading
  • Use
  • Storage
  • Quality of digestate
  • Systems analysis
Facts:

SLU has its own biogas plant at Lövsta research center about 8 kilometers outside of Uppsala. Our unique biogas facilities include everything from a high-tech equipment in the laboratory to a full-scale production plant.

Related pages:
Page editor: Cajsa.Lithell@slu.se