Efficient processes for biogas production from of organic waste and renewable raw materials


© Biotech Surindo / Fraunhofer IGB

Use of organic residues from the food industry

In the production of food or in biotechnological processes, residual materials of the most varied composition are produced. Fraunhofer IGB develops individual and adapted solutions for the material and energetic use of organic residues that are generated as by-products. Organic residues that cannot be recycled are particularly suitable for anaerobic conversion into the end product biogas (methane and carbon dioxide).

© Universität Hohenheim

Productivity increase of biogas plants

Biogas plants, in which above all renewable raw materials are digested into biogas, are an important decentralized component in the expansion of renewable energies. However, there is still a need for research to make biogas production as a whole as effective as possible and thus improve the biogas yield.

Our solution: Efficient digestion processes for maximum biogas yield

The range of our services extends from digestion tests on laboratory scale to determine the degradability and the biogas yield, to investigations on pilot plant scale to determine design parameters for biogas plants, to the realization of plants on technical scale in cooperation with engineering offices. All developments are carried out with the aim of providing optimal and specific solutions for the user.

  • Feasibility studies: Investigation of the fermentability, quantification of the biogas yield of substrates / cosubstrates
  • Characterization of solids and substrates: Qualitative and quantitative biogas analysis, analysis of substrate ingredients
  • Specific analysis of processes with the aim of process improvements: elimination of faults, increase of efficiency, process optimization
  • Anaerobic processes as an alternative to aerobic processes
  • Determination of potential for increasing the performance of processes, e.g. wastewater treatment, biogas plants, sewage sludge digestion
  • Process development for anaerobic treatment of organic residues, e.g. from agriculture, food processing, production
  • Technical implementation up to pilot scale
  • Scientific support during the commissioning of processes on a technical scale
Biogas experiments at Fraunhofer IGB.
© Fraunhofer IGB
Biogas experiments at Fraunhofer IGB.

Infrastructure and equipment

  • Bioreactors of different types and sizes (laboratory, pilot and technical scale)
  • Pilot plant for environmental and bioprocess engineering
  • Mobile pilot plants in m3 scale for the generation of design data on site for the planning and construction of innovative demonstration plants

Biogas couples energy, chemical and mobility sectors

Among the renewable energies, the production of biogas as "bioenergy" for the energy turnaround takes a special position: While electricity generation from the sun and wind is heavily dependent on the weather, biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, can in principle be used to produce energy continuously.  

In addition, biogas can be stored for a certain period of time and converted into electricity and heat in a combined heat and power plant as required. If biogas is purified accordingly, the high-purity methane can also be used as a fuel (natural gas vehicles) or chemical base material – or fed into the natural gas network. In this way it links the energy and chemical sectors.