VESTA methanation for renewable natural gas production

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Alternative fuels to reduce the carbon impact in the natural gas value chain

Fueling the low-carbon economy

Renewable natural gas (RNG) or substitute natural gas (SNG) production is one of the most flexible approaches to decarbonise end demand such as residential heating and transportation systems.

Renewable natural gas produced from biogas, power-to-gas and biomass gasification, is a clean and low-carbon alternative to conventional natural gas, that can be transported and distributed using the existing grid infrastructure.

Wood’s VESTA catalytic methanation technology for natural gas production provides an efficient, robust and viable system that can be adapted to any source of syngas (e.g., from biomass or waste gasification), including the CO2-rich gases typical for biogas upgrading and power-to-gas applications based on green hydrogen and CO2 from other processes.

Clean energy for heating, power and transportation

RNG is a -clean and excellent energy carrier that can be directly introduced into existing natural gas grids. The applications in the bio-based market sector include residential heating (including cooking), cogeneration and transportation systems.

The biogas sector represents a production potential of renewable gas of 10 billion Nm3 of biomethane by 2030 (90% from agriculture matrices and 20% from organic wastes, non-biogenic sources and gasification). The production of biomethane delivers a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable natural gas is expected to play a key role in the energy sector due to the easy connection of production plants to existing natural gas networks and the availability of mature technologies, such as VESTA, for commercial applications.

VESTA methanation

Wood developed a simple methanation process called VESTA, powered by a high-performance catalyst from our partner, Clariant.

VESTA biogas methanation process chart

How it works

VESTA enables the decarbonisation of natural gas production by exploiting renewable resources with three alternative process schemes to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and meet environmental targets:

Biomass gasification
1. Biomass gasification

The first pathway to produce a clean gas by using unique plant configurations (depending on the selected gasification technology) with an impact on the downstream syngas compositions and, subsequently, on the cleaning steps.

2. Biogas upgrading

Biogas and renewable hydrogen to increase Natural Gas production and reduce CO2 emissions

Biogas upgrading
Power to gas
3. Power to gas (renewable hydrogen and CO2-CO)

CO2-rich gas conversion to green natural gas by using renewable hydrogen and a subsequent drying section.

Biomass gasification plants can be economically attractive with government incentives across various regions (for example the Advanced Biofuel Feedstock Incentives or Alternative Fuel Corridor (AFC) Grants and similar programmes in the UK and continental Europe), as well as in North America or alternatively as a route to integrate and utilise low grade heat.

Biogas upgrading and power-to-gas systems allows the widest use of RNG, not only for power generation but to provide an alternative for transport, industrial and domestic energy demands in all green economies.