Danish CO2 from agriculture becomes bubbles in your soda
Nature Energy and Strandmøllen A/S have entered into a partnership under which excess CO2 from the world’s largest biogas plant in Esbjerg will be recycled as, for example, bubbles in your soda. Under the partnership, Strandmøllen will have easy access to necessary CO2, which is otherwise in short supply throughout Europe, and, in addition, CO2 emissions from the biogas plant will be reduced by 70% compared with an ordinary biogas plant.
When a biogas plant converts food waste and residues from agriculture into the green gas, biogas, 60% of the organic material becomes energy and 40% becomes CO2. So far, it has been difficult to use the excess CO2, and it is typically emitted back into the atmosphere. But when construction of the world’s largest biogas plant in Korskro near Esbjerg is completed, Strandmøllen, which shares the same location, will build one of the world’s first CO2 plants which makes it possible to purify and condense excess CO2 from the biogas plant.
“If we’re to meet the Paris Agreement targets and continue to be a green winner nation in the future, we must reduce our CO2,emissions and bind the CO2 we already have in circulation more effectively. This is the task we’re now undertaking. When the construction of the Korskro biogas plant is completed, we’ll take the 40% CO2, which would otherwise have been emitted into the atmosphere, and use it for, for example, carbon dioxide in soda. This means that significantly less carbon dioxide needs to be produced using fossil energy, and it increases our possibilities of becoming green winners on the financial bottom line, the environmental bottom line and the climate bottom line,” says Ole Hvelplund, CEO of Nature Energy.
First CO2 plant in Denmark
The partnership with Strandmøllen on producing green carbon dioxide is the first of its kind in Denmark, and comes after a summer in which several European beer and soft drinks producers have been struggling with a general shortage of CO2 in Europe.
Strandmøllen has been conducting research into purification of CO2 from biogas plants for several years. This means that the CO2 which has been through the company’s purification process is of a very high quality and can be used for, among other purposes, food production, dry ice and welding.
“For a number of years, we’ve wanted to produce green CO2, but it’s only now that biogas plants have become large enough to make it financially viable to establish a CO2 plant. Over the past few years, there has been a serious shortage of CO2 in Europe during the summer months. With this new plant, Strandmøllen’s customers can look forward to much higher security of supply in 2019,” says CEO Alex Buendia from Strandmøllen.
The CO2 plant in Korskro can produce up to 25% of the annual Danish CO2 consumption. Denmark imports 65,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The imported CO2 typically comes from fertiliser production based on fossil natural gas.
The Korskro biogas plant is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2019, and the CO2 plant will deliver the first bottles of carbon dioxide for the summer of 2019.
How green carbon dioxide is produced
CO2 is a natural by-product from biogas production. So far, the total CO2 quantity from biogas plants has been too low to make extraction and purification viable. With the size of the Korskro plant, recycling of the CO2 has, however, become profitable. Once the energy has been removed from the biogas, the remaining CO2 is treated so that it acquires the desired purity. It is then stored in tanks or bottles until it is to be delivered to the customer. The customers then use the processed CO2 instead of CO2 from fossil energy. CO2 is typically used in food production, slaughterhouses, market gardens, in soft drinks, as dry ice for cooling, in laboratories, for medical purposes in hospitals or for welding.
- The CO2 plant can produce up to 25% of the annual Danish CO2 consumption. Denmark imports 65,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The imported CO2 typically comes from fertiliser production based on fossil natural gas.
- When the Korskro biogas plant has been fully extended, it will treat more than 1 million tonnes of food waste and residues from agriculture (manure, deep litter etc.) annually.
- The biogas plant can produce 36.1 million cubic metres of biogas and green manure, which can fertilise an area of 22,000 hectares, corresponding to 31,430 football pitches.
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