Integrated biological approaches for high-grade biomethane vehicle fuel production from food waste
- Start date: 1 July 2022
- End date: 30 June 2025
- Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Value: £507,987
- Partners and collaborators: Olleco, UK and Biorenewables Development Centre, York
- Primary investigator: Dr Cynthia Kusin Okoro-Shekwaga
Achieving Net Zero emissions in the UK will require extended research into ready-to-use advanced (second-generation and beyond) biofuels, such as biomethane obtained through anaerobic digestion (AD).
AD produces a gas mixture (biogas) composed of 50-70% methane (CH4) and 30-50% carbon dioxide (CO2). The conventional (physicochemical) methods of biogas upgrade to biomethane often have high water, chemical and energy demand, additional waste generation, net methane losses and parasitic CO2 load. This reduces the overall energy yield and emissions reduction potential of biomethane.
An alternative approach is the biological hydrogen (H2) methanation of CO2, whereby H2 is added to anaerobic digesters to enhance H2/CO2 to CH4 as part of the AD process, leading to the production of a clean fuel that is fit for use as a vehicle fuel to replace natural gas and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, a process known as biomethanation.
This project will exploit the potentials of AD to produce low-carbon, high-grade biomethane from food waste for use as a vehicle fuel through in-vessel biomethanation using bioH2 that will be produced from a fraction of the food waste.