Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Use Model

The Carbon Trust commissioned ORA with the aim of assessing the economics and carbon impact of different options for the use of biogas resulting from anaerobic digestion (AD). The aim was to model a variety of organic feedstocks, analyse the most promising feedstock and plant size configurations for injection of biomethane into the national gas grid, and compare this to the alternative biogas energy generation options of local heating, generation of electricity and heat via combined heat and power (CHP), and use as a transport fuel.

Use of biomethane
Injection of biogas into the grid was considered in the model.

In order to meet these aims, ORA was commissioned to provide a simple to use spreadsheet model. The model was designed to analyse the economics and carbon impact of a range of plausible feedstock, AD plant size and biogas utilisation options.

ORA produced the following deliverables:

Graphical outputs were developed to enable comparisons of the net CO2 displacement achieved, cost and revenue consequences and project net present values. The outputs were designed such that the Carbon Trust could readily evaluate the impact of changes to input data and other variable parameters.

The Carbon Trust were able to use the model to further their understanding both of the varying complexity of the available AD process options, and of the impact that the end use of the biogas has on costs incurred and possible carbon savings.

The Carbon Trust used data from the model in the publication, Technology Update: Biogas from anaerobic digestion. Click here to view it.