A pilot project in Thailand is exploring the combination of biogas refining and natural gas fuel supply for future commercial usage. The project collaborators, Thai company Agriculture of Basin Company Limited (ABC), and Osaka Gas Co., Ltd (Osaka Gas), launched the project at the end of November.
The companies aim to determine the feasibility of supplying natural gas to vehicles by continuously removing carbon dioxide and other impurities from biogas generated mainly from agricultural waste, and refining it into high purity methane gas.
The local subsidiary of Osaka Gas, Osaka Gas (Thailand) Co., Ltd, is responsible for the construction of the pilot testing facilities. The company also plans to provide necessary assistance during the pilot testing period.
It will be built at ABC’s palm oil factory, where organic matter contained in waste water will be digested to generate biogas. This will be subsequently refined by Osaka gas into biomethane – a renewable natural gas (RNG).
Once approved as meeting Thailand’s quality standards for vehicle fuel, ABC will use the refined methane gas for its own natural gas powered vehicles (NGV). The pilot project is scheduled to run for roughly one year, during which time Osaka Gas will test and operate a 250 Nm3/h biogas refining facility that assumes commercial deployment. The project will focus on verification of a long-term stable operation and methods to minimize the cost of producing methane gas, as well as determine the effectiveness of the methane produced as a vehicle fuel. Based on the outcome of pilot testing, ABC will develop further transportation initiatives to effectively utilize the RNG.
Osaka Gas has been engaged in developing biogas refining technology since 2012 with the goals of utilising unused biogas, promoting energy preservation, and environmental protection. The company is capable of producing high purity methane gas with the world’s highest efficiency in methane recovery at a rate of over 99% (percentage of methane in high purity methane gas product relative to methane in biogas of raw material). It has achieved this through its proprietary hybrid biogas refining system which combines a CO2 separation membrane with PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption), a technology that selectively adsorbs and removes CO2.
Since agriculture is one of Thailand’s most prominent industries there is an abundance of biomass resources. These include palm residue, the remnants of sugarcane crushed to extract juice and food factory wastewater. Natural gas vehicles are also becoming increasingly prevalent in Thailand.
Under its long-term business vision, “Going Forward Beyond Borders 2030”, Osaka Gas has set a goal to expand its overseas energy business, including the expansion of energy initiatives around Southeast Asia and making effective use of biomass resources.
Source: Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.