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Research Coordination for a Low-Cost Biomethane Production at Small and Medium Scale Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Record Biomap (Research Coordination for a Low-Cost Biomethane Production at Small and Medium Scale Applications)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-09-30

The objective of Record Biomap is to build up a knowledge transfer platform aiming to foster the use of research outcomes. In focus were technology solutions for cost efficient biomethane production at small to medium scale, which are not yet economically competitive compared to large scale applications. Transnational technology developments along the biomethane supply chain (substrate pre-treatment, digestion, biogas upgrading), especially for those technologies which are yet in the first phases of their development, are monitored and supported through dissemination activities.
The goal is to accelerate innovation in this sector and therefore shorten the time to market of the most promising technology solutions, which make production of biomethane cost efficient and market competitive. To bridge the gap between research and market, Record Biomap established the “Biomethane Map”, an online interactive map, which presents SME and research institutions in Europe who investigate in above mentioned technologies to reach a cost and energy efficient biomethane production at plants with a production capacity of < 200 Nm³/h raw biogas. The map includes their profiles and detailed technology descriptions to give an insight into their innovative developments. This platform supports knowledge transfer of different R&D actions and connects the end user with the technology provider to accelerate market implementation or to develop further project concepts. To support this, one objective was to identify new sources of public/private funding for the further development of those technologies. Relevant calls in different national/international funding programs are available on the project website. Some possible project concepts were developed.
Record Biomap built up a biomethane network for especially small to medium scale biomethane production technologies. It connected many stakeholders from industry and research as well as end users and informed decision makers through the website, workshops, conferences, publications and other dissemination+communications measures. For the first time a comprehensive overview and multi indicator assessment of present (2016 - 2018) European small-scale, innovative technologies for the production of biomethane has been made, which is an absolute novelty. Technical, economic and ecological indicators for small-scale biomethane technologies (with low TRL) were defined, applied, and compared to larger scale references.
However, policies, i.e. a supporting framework around biomethane are still missing in many EU countries and need to be adapted in order to support market introduction of decentralized and small to medium scale biomethane production and supply (see D2.1/2.2). Only if the political framework offers opportunities to small scale biomethane production, spatially distributed potentials of organic wastes or residues in the agricultural sector could be used in the long term.
The knowledge transfer platform is online since June 2016 and was continuously updated until the end of the project. 80 profiles of European technology developers were published on the Biomethane Map. Almost 50 technology descriptions (TD) with detailed information about innovation of the technology solutions were shared and assessed. The data was used to evaluate and indicate the best possible solutions along the biomethane supply chain depending on different conditions and substrates.
Dissemination was one big focus of Record Biomap with the following measures achieved:
• 9 scientific publications
• 5 publications in conference proceedings
• 12 presentations + 15 posters at national/international conferences
• 10 articles published in popular press
• 3 press releases + at least 7 articles in the press or sector-related online magazines
• 5 newsletters to more than 300 stakeholders
• 3 workshops
• 1 webinar
• 1 flyer
Record Biomap organised 3 stakeholder workshops as foreseen in the DoA and an additional webinar with the ambition to bring investors together with stakeholders from research and industry to bridge the gap between research and market. This could not be fully achieved because only a very few of the invited investors joined the webinar. Nevertheless, the webinar achieved to connect possible end users with the technology providers. The presenters have shown possible next steps towards market introduction of their anaerobic digestion and biogas upgrading technologies.
The basis for consultation with policymakers, authorities, legislators (in cooperation with associations) with the purpose or assist policy initiatives was laid by collecting and summarizing regulatory and financial frameworks for 15 EU countries. With this as a background, short briefing notes on suggested regulatory change and/or alignment were generated and to be used as a communication tool with policy makers. Part of the consultation on the topic of framework conditions was accomplished during the workshop in Germany. Later, the briefing notes were presented to participants of a Horizon 2020 Workshop on Bioenergy, Advanced Biofuels and Renewable fuels in April 2018. The conclusions from the regulatory review and/or briefing notes have also been communicated with European Biogas Association, selected EU Parliamentarians and national responsible policy makers.
During the entire project duration a data base of open calls and other funding opportunities was created and continuously updated on the project website and spread through stakeholder newsletters.
Record Biomap established a platform through, which fosters an international cooperation and also allows local companies to enter international markets. The project offered the possibility to present technology developments and to get in contact with different stakeholders to foster cross-border cooperation and help to bridge the gap between research and market. Thereby, it facilitated associations between biogas plant operators and industry players. Especially through providing an overview of the technological solutions with a TRL of 3-7, it enabled to identify research directions in the sector of small-medium-scale biomethane production.
The call data base is a collection of funding opportunities with a unique focus on small and medium sized biomethane projects. A number of project concepts have been developed while one concept was brought to submission as a full proposal.
The country reviews of framework conditions that were gathered will serve anyone who is considering developing a biomethane project or is evaluating the market potential for a new biomethane technology well. They give a uniquely collected starting point for most of the relevant legal and financial framework documents of a specific country. Additionally, the country profiles give some main conclusions about the current framework conditions in different European countries. These also have been communicated to decision makers, policy and the European Biogas Association (EBA) through briefing notes and workshops.
The European dimension of the project has allowed for spreading outcomes of former national research to a European audience. Stakeholders were brought together on a national and international level to open possibilities for both further aligned national research but also European research. With those measures, Record Biomap contributed to the development of a more efficient biomethane production in small to medium scale.