Verbio AG, a Germany-based renewal energy company and one of Europe’s largest producers and distributors of biofuels, has received approval from the German Environment Minister, Dr. Norbert Röttgen, for its new Verbio biogas plant in Schwedt/Oder. The plant produces a second-generation biofuel exclusively from biomass residues (agricultural residues like straw pulp) without the use of foodstuffs. The ‘verbiogas’ biomethane is processed to natural gas, then fed into existing natural gas grid and made available as a fuel at natural gas filling stations.
“Our verbiogas is the solution for making biofuels a viable replacement for fossil fuels in environmental and economic terms”, explains Claus Sauter, CEO of VERBIO AG. “As an alternative fuel to petrol or diesel, the Verbio biogas can help to reach or even beat the CO2 emissions target of 95 g/km for newly registered passenger cars set by the EU for 2020 much more quickly. verbiogas is produced from biomass residues, achieves a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases compared with petrol, is already competitive and is a genuine second-generation biofuel.”
Verbio AG has managed to achieve cascade utilisation of the biomass used with a technologically new bio-refinery concept consisting of a bioethanol plant, biogas plant and bio-fertiliser plant. The biofuels produced in this way achieve a greenhouse gas reduction of up to 90% compared with petrol. As Dr Röttgen explained at the launch of the plant in early March, “This is the Verbio groundbreaking concept, because it helps to defuse conflicts in the use of bioenergy and food production. ”
Multiple utilisation of the raw materials used means that they can be almost entirely converted into energy. The bio-fertiliser, a by-product of the bio-refinery, is returned to the agricultural cycle. This world first was awarded the biogas innovation prize by the German Energy Agency (dena) in December 2010.
Since the end of 2010, verbiogas has made up 50% of gas for natural gas vehicles in Munich. From early 2011 onwards, VERBIO will have around 500 GWh of verbiogas from the plants in Schwedt and Zorbig at its disposal, meaning that it could already act as supplier to 25% of natural gas stations in Germany. By 2015 the production will be expanded to 2,000 GWh.
Verbio AG says an action plan has been developed to increase the share of natural gas and biogas in the German fuel mix and the number of CNG vehicles significantly. The results are used inter alia in the new mobility and fuel strategy of the Federal Government.
This article compiled using information from a Verbio AG press release.