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Biomethane

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Biomethane, a renewable and programmable source of energy, can answer to emission reduction goals by exploiting existing gas networks and contributing to increasing domestic methane production

Biomethane is a renewable energy source derived from agricultural biomass (dedicated crops, by-products and agricultural waste and animal waste), agro-industrial (waste from the food processing chain) and the Organic Fraction Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW). Biomethane is obtained in two phases: raw biogas production - predominantly through anaerobic digestion of biomass - and subsequent removal of non-compatible components (CO2), a process also known as "upgrading".

Biomethane, a renewable and programmable source of energy, can answer to emission reduction goals by exploiting existing gas networks and contributing to increasing domestic methane production. This perspective would also have a positive impact on the agri-food sector by promoting an economic model based on sustainability and resource-friendliness.

  • Animal manure
  • Crops
  • Agricoltural byproducts
  • OFMSW
biometano Infografica biometano Infografica
  • feeding
  • biogas production
  • energy genereted by biogas

The contribution of biomethane to the decarbonisation objectives is not limited to the energy consumption phase only. Its production process can help to significantly reduce emissions in the farming sector (14% of climate changing gases) and restore organic matter to the soil. In fact, the digested material (what remains after the anaerobic digestion of the agricultural matrices) is an excellent natural fertilizer. Farms could therefore substantially reduce their production costs and increase their competitiveness. In addition, biomethane produced with sustainability criteria can increase the ability to absorb and preserve soil carbon.

 

Biomethane
   

It is

  • Renewable: it is generated from agricultural biomass
  • Sustainable: CO2 neutral and could significantly reduce agricultural sector emissions (7% GHG emissions in Italy)

Its use is:

  • flexible: suitable for all energetic needs (also as a fuel for transportation)
  • programmable: assimilable to natural gas, it may use already in place transportation and storage facilities
  • efficient: suitable in the distribution

Biomethane development and decarbonization strategy in Italy

Vai al sito del Consorzio italiano biogas

logo CIB logo Snam logo confagricoltura
As an energy source it may supply up to 15% of 2030 gas demand and support the production of gas on national territory

New biomethane delivery points

Do you want to know how to connect your biomethane production plant to our network?

Sustainable mobility

Sustainable mobility

The future of "green" mobility in our country is closely linked to the diffusion of natural gas and biomethane, which represent the "Italian way" to the decarbonisation of transport. Italy is a leader in Europe for automobiles circulating in CNG (compressed natural gas), a technology that breaks down particulates and nitrogen oxides and considerably reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional fuels such as diesel and petrol. Biomethane makes g-mobility renewable and even more green: this resource, which can be obtained from the organic fraction of municipal waste or from agricultural and agri-food wastes, emits almost zero levels of dust (as well as conventional natural gas) and It further reduces CO2 compared to methane and traditional fuels. The emissions of a biomethane vehicle are comparable to those of an electric vehicle powered by wind power.

Italy has a potential production of biomethane estimated by the CIB (Italian Biogas Consortium) in 10 billion cubic meters. If the biomethane potentially manufacturable in Italy was entirely destined for transport, as expected by the relevant incentive decree, it could fuel a third of the fleet with renewable energy at 100%. The possibilities of use and the further development of sustainable mobility in Italy are concrete and demonstrate the presence of a distribution network of about 1,250 plants, constantly increasing, a fleet of more than one million light vehicles that can use biomethane right away, as well as 3,300 methane buses. The long-term projections of Snam see biomethane cover at least one third of the consumption of automotive fuels, with the remaining part covered by other alternative technologies, such as liquid and electric biofuels.

An interesting perspective for biomethane is its liquefaction and consequent transformation into bio-LNG, the only technology currently available for the development of fully renewable fuels and zero CO2 for heavy vehicles. In order to feed the liquefied biomethane trucks, Snam initiated a project with Bhge (Baker Hughes – GE) which envisages the realisation of four micro-liquefaction plants distributed throughout Italy, capable of producing about 140,000 tonnes of LNG or Bio-LNG per year and support the increase in the circulating fleet of natural gas trucks from the current thousand potentially up to 15,000 units.

Snam, together with the Consorzio Italiano Biogas and Confagricoltura, has developed and presented a manifesto to the public in support of the Italian biomethane supply chain.

The document, directed at the government and the European Commission and circulated on the occasion of the 2016 edition of Biogas Italy, an event in the sector sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of Land and Sea, highlights the strategic role of biomethane in the energy transition to an economy based on sustainability and the circular use of resources.

The first Snam workshop entirely dedicated to biomethane was held in December 2016 at San Donato Milanese. The event, which was attended by around one hundred people, representing over 50 gas transport system operators and associations, helped to take stock of the situation in view of the injection of the first flows of biomethane into the Snam network expected at the start of 2017.

In April 2018 the Workshop dedicated to the world of Biomethane organized by Snam was held in San Donato Milanese (MI). It was reserved for operators and companies of the sector whose objective was the sharing of information on the procedures through which to request a connection to the network of Snam methane pipelines, the roles and responsibilities of the involved parties as well as the modalities according to which to reserve the relative transport capacity functional to the introduction of biomethane in the network.

For more information on Snam's contribution to sustainable development, consult the 2017 Sustainability Report.

Methods of incentivation of the biomethane introduced into the natural gas network have been foreseen for the first time with the Directive 2009/28 / EC and implemented in accordance with Article 21 of Legislative Decree 3 March 2011, n.28. In implementation of this decree, the Ministry of Economic Development together with the Minister of Environment and Protection of the Sea and with the Minister of Agricultural and Forestry Policies has adopted specific modalities for the incentive of biomethane in 2013 (Ministerial Decree 5 December 2013).

Following the entry into force of this decree, considering it opportune to further promote the use of biomethane both as fuel for transport and as an important element for the security of gas supplies and favoring in particular that produced by advanced matrices, the Ministry of Economic Development has deemed it useful to issue a new decree, DM March 2, 2018, for the promotion of biomethane (also advanced) in order to incentivize the intake of biomethane in the natural gas network and destined for transport use also through the reconversion of existing biogas and its use for the production of biofuels released for consumption in the transport sector.

The Gas For Climate: A path to 2050 report, commissioned to Ecofys, underlines how it is possible to increase the production of renewable gas to more than 120 billion cubic meters per year by 2050, including both renewable hydrogen and biomethane, which if used to heat buildings, produce electricity alongside wind and solar and feed heavy transport both on land and at sea can generate annual savings of around 140 billion euros by 2050 compared to a future zero emission energy system that does not take into account the contribution of the gas

A new renewable, clean and efficient energy source now flows through Snam’s pipelines. On Friday 30 June, the first biomethane has been injected in the national pipeline network by Montello SpA, an Italian and European leader in bio-waste recovery and recycle.

 

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updated
12 December 2018 - 15:38 CET