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Biomethane, one of the keys to a sustainable energy future

– Cetaqua, the Water Technology Centre, successfully held the event “Challenges and opportunities in the production and use of biomethane”

– The event brought together more than 100 representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss the progress made with this renewable fuel that is key to a greener economy

At a time when sustainability and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction are crucial to addressing climate change, biomethane emerges as a high-quality renewable fuel that triggers positive change in the energy industry and the global economy.

In this context, Cetaqua, the Water Technology Centre, held the event “Challenges and opportunities in the production and use of biomethane” this morning in Barcelona. The meeting brought together more than 100 professionals from the public and private sectors and provided an essential forum for discussing progress in the production and use of this key renewable fuel for moving toward a greener economy.

The event was also a great opportunity to present success stories of RDI projects that contribute to the circular economy by transforming waste into energy. SEMPRE-BIO, LIFE Nimbus, Biomethaverse, La Galera, the El Baix Llobregat WWTP Biomethane Ecofactory Project and Elena/Vila-Sana are some of the examples that show how technology and innovation are driving biomethane production.

Challenges and opportunities in biomethane production and use

Biomethane is a great alternative to fossil fuels because it reduces greenhouse gases and helps reuse organic waste. The renewable gas is obtained from the decomposition of organic matter through a process called anaerobic digestion, whereby the matter decomposes in the absence of oxygen. This produces a fuel with a composition very similar to natural gas that can be used in the same facilities, thus fuelling homes, businesses and vehicles. Even though it is already a reality, it still has certain limitations, such as high production costs, the viability of small operations and the difficulty of treating non-fermentable waste.

How to address these challenges was the subject of the event’s round table, which was attended by representatives from the public and private sectors, including Mario Canet, head of New Developments at Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB); Laia Sarquella, head of Bioenergy at the Institut Català d’Energia (ICAEN); Oriol Martínez, biomethane project engineer at Naturgy; Fernando Selva, who handles promotion, project development and administration at AGF Ingeniería de Procesos (Biometagás La Galera), and Joaquín Pérez Novo, director of Market Development and Renewable Gases at Veolia Agua.

As a final touch to the event, the attendees had the opportunity to visit the biomethane generation plant operated by the European LIFE Nimbus project, led by Cetaqua and co-funded by the European Commission’s LIFE programme. Located at the El Baix Llobregat WWTP and managed by Aigües de Barcelona, the visit enabled the attendees to see first-hand how biomethane can be produced more efficiently and sustainably, increasing awareness of the importance how energy is produced and used. In this particular case, from treatment plant sludge.