LIFE Project Cover Photo

Non-IMpact BUS: Demonstration of a biological methanation plant for sustainable urban transport

Reference: LIFE19 ENV/ES/000191 | Acronym: LIFE NIMBUS

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The transport sector accounts for around 33% of the total primary energy consumption in Europe. In recent years, this sector is making progress towards the use of diversified energy sources, but more effort is needed. Within this context biomethane, being a renewable fuel, is starting to play a key role among sustainable road transport solutions. Furthermore, the EU directives 2009/28/EC and 2018/2001/EU on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources aim to achieve a share of 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 32% by 2030. The power sector can easily reach a higher share of renewable sources thanks to wind and solar technologies, but their applications are limited by the storage capacity of the grid. Currently, renewable power plants are often forced to reduce supply to the market during low-demand periods. The power-to-gas concept is a solution to store excess renewable energy when power generation is higher than demand. Thanks to this solution, renewable electricity generation can be used to obtain a renewable biofuel (biomethane), which can then be used for transport and thus contribute to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 88% compared to natural gas. Waste and wastewater treatment plants have a huge potential to produce biomethane from biogas methanation. The biogas produced in these plants is composed of around 60-65% of methane and 35-40% of CO2. Therefore, biogas methanation is a power-to-gas technology that could significantly increase the potential of renewable biofuel production.


OBJECTIVES

The objective of the LIFE NIMBUS project is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of a power-to-gas solution based on biological processes. This will contribute to the increase of renewable energy production, and therefore reduce the carbon footprint. The purpose of the project is to produce biomethane from biogas that is of the quality required for use as a biofuel, therefore storing renewable energy that otherwise would be lost. For this purpose, a biological methanation plant using a mixture of hydrogen(H2) and bio-hydrogen (bio-H2) sources will be designed, built and operated. The biomethane produced will be used to fuel a public bus.

The projects objectives are fully in line with the milestones of the EU Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM(2011)571) on increasing the use of renewable energy sources in the transport sector. More specifically, the project will contribute to the implementation of Directive 2009/28/EC and Directive 2018/2001/EU on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.


RESULTS

Expected results:

  • Storage of 29 toe/year as biomethane using a power-to-gas technology, which means an improvement of 68% in the renewable energy produced in the wastewater treatment plant of Baix Llobregat compared with the current use of biogas in cogeneration motors;
  • Production of 4 Nm3/h of biomethane through biological biogas methanation that will be used to fuel one public bus, which will run 48 000 km on renewable fuel;
  • Reduction of 88% of the carbon footprint of one public bus (Well to Wheel footprint of 2.2 kgCO2 eq/km when using compressed natural gas (CNG) versus 0.3 kgCO2eq/km when using biomethane). This corresponds to a reduction of 72 tCO2/year and savings of 22 t/year of natural gas, a fossil fuel;
  • Reduction of 9% of CO2 emissions on the bus line where the biomethane-fuelled bus is tested (total fleet of 10 buses).
  • The expected results will be a basis to upscale after the project the developed technology in Barcelona, to increase the figure of biomethane powered buses up to 141, reducing 5940 toe/year. A second replication site in Ste is expected to power with biomethane up to 45 additional buses.

    ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE19 ENV/ES/000191
    Acronym: LIFE NIMBUS
    Start Date: 01/09/2020
    End Date: 30/11/2023
    Total Budget: 1,987,494 €
    EU Contribution: 1,093,120 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Cetaqua, Centro Tecnolgico del Agua, Fundacin Privada
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Carretera d'Esplugues 75, 08940, Cornell de Llobregat, España
    Contact Person: Oriol Casal
    Email: oriol.casal@cetaqua.com
    Tel: 34933124800
    Website: https://www.cetaqua.com/


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • Waste water treatment
    • Public administration
    • GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
    • Cleaner technologies

    KEYWORDS

    • emission reduction
    • biofuel
    • public transport
    • alternative technology
    • renewable energy
    • urban wastewater
    • biogas
    • climate change mitigation

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)
    • COM(2011)885 - EU 2050 Energy Roadmap (15.12.2011)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    TMB(TRANSPORTS DE BARCELONA, SA), Spain Participant
    UAB(Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona), Spain Participant
    AB(AIGÜES DE BARCELONA, EMPRESA METROPOLITANA DE GESTIÓ DEL CICLE INTEGRAL DE L'AIGUA, S.A.), Spain Participant
    LABAQUA(LABAQUA), Spain. Until 31/11/2021 Participant