Biogas research at SLU covers the entire value chain from substrates via the biogas process to the use of biogas and digestate. The Department of Energy and Technology has focus on small scale upgrading of biogas, demand oriented biogas production and utilization, logistics and systems analysis.
At the department we study the important role biogas can play in solving future societal challenges such as the transition of the energy system to renewables and assuring long term sustainable resource use. Numerous challenges are facing us, but we know that biogas can serve many needs and be used for multiple important purposes (e.g. electricity, heat and fuel) in different scales, and both in industrialized and developing countries.
Moreover, it is important that the nutrient-rich digestate can be used as a bio-fertilizer to replace mineral fertilizers, and thus contribute to the circular economy growth. We work with the development of the biogas process and the design of integrated systems and value chains to find resource-efficient and sustainable biogas systems tailed towards different local conditions.
Electricity production from weather dependent intermittent sources (sun and wind) increases the variation in power supply and thus the need to balance production and demand. By increasing the flexibility in biogas production and gas storage, the heat and electricity production from biogas could be adjusted to produce more when needed the most and thereby help in the power balance. There is a need to study which opportunities and consequences (technical requirements, energy balances, costs and environmental effects) an increased flexibility in biogas production and conversion can have.