PRESS RELEASE: Bio-Up takes a stride towards a more sustainable agricultural sector

Logo_BioupPress release

Dairy farmer can now supply biomethane to the gas grid: Bio-Up takes a stride towards a more sustainable agricultural sector

There was considerable public interest when Bio-Up officially came into operation on January 13. ‘De Marke’ – a trial farm in Hengelo (Gelderland) – has now become the first farm to supply biomethane to the national gas grid. The biogas is produced using fermented manure. Bio Up-378_kleinThis is an outstanding example of how cattle farming can be both sustainable and profitable. The developer of Bio-Up, CCS Energy Advice from Deventer (NL), has managed to produce biomethane from biogas in a safe, convenient and cost-effective way that is available to individual farmers. René Cornelissen, director of CCS: ‘Thanks to the innovative techniques used in the Bio-Up, all manure can be kept on site and emissions of powerful greenhouse gasses are minimized. This is a major contribution to climate change mitigation.’

Bio-Up: Sophisticated biogas plant for cattle farmers
The Bio-Up is a small-scale gas upgrading facility for use on farms. The tried and tested technology that is used in large-scale systems, such as at former dumpsites, has been scaled down to single farm level. Using Bio-Up, CCS has managed to create a system that is every bit as good as an industrial-scale installation in terms of technical standards, safety and gas quality. This technique means that livestock farmers can derive the maximum benefit from the manure that their animals produce.

100% useful energy with biomethane (groen gas)
Until now, biogas was often used in combined heat and power installations (CHP). These installations convert biogas into electricity (35%) and heat (50%), with a loss rate of 15%. In many cases, however, the livestock farmers themselves actually only use the electricity generated. The Bio-Up ensures that the biogas is upgraded to biomethane, which is of the same grade as natural gas, meaning that livestock farmers can convert manure into energy at a rate of 100%. Any boiler, water heater and gas cooker in the Netherlands can use this gas from the grid.

So much innovation
Using funding from TKI Gas, the Department for Dutch Entrepreneurship, LTO Noord, the Province of Overijssel and Climate-KIC, and working with many other partners, CCS has succeeded in applying robust and simple techniques in an innovative manner. For example, the gas can be supplied directly to the local low-pressure gas network using a simple domestic connection. As a result, operating costs and power consumption are kept to a minimum. Another priority was ease-of-use: the Bio-Up is fully automated so that the farmer does not need to worry about constantly regulating the system and remote technical support can be provided. The system will be delivered in a container, enabling flexible placement on the farm.

Customized biogas installation
CCS has developed two systems with different capacities: the units can supply up to 20 m³/h or 40 m³/h of biomethane. By standardizing these capacities, costs have been kept low and these volumes are suitable for the majority of dairy farms. Under current regulations in the Netherlands, it will be possible to recoup the required investment within seven years using these new biogas installations. Farmers can request a free scan to see which solution would suit them best. After a successful scan, CCS can provide assistance with applying for grants and permits.

Huge interest in smart technologiesBio Up-462_klein

Nearly 150 people came to visit the De Marke trial farm to see how Bio-Up works for themselves. Farmers, researchers and policymakers were all full of praise. Several speakers, including visitors from Wageningen UR, LTO Overijssel and Climate-KIC, stressed the importance of smart manure treatment and energy production for both the agricultural sector and the environment. Society is demanding greater sustainability and the challenge for the sector is to respond to this in a way that enables people to continue to make a profit. The production of renewable energy by farmers is certainly a very interesting option. The development of Bio-Up is CCS’s response to these demands for sustainability: a small-scale gas production unit that can be installed on-site at farms.

The livestock farmer as a local gas supplier
The technique of converting manure into biogas is becoming more and more common. However, it enables livestock farmers to produce more energy than they need for themselves, and until recently it was difficult to find a solution for this. The Bio-Up solves this problem: the biogas is cleaned and upgraded to ‘biomethane’. This biomethane is of the same quality as natural gas and can therefore be supplied to the gas grid. René Cornelissen: ‘Using Bio-Up, the average farmer can produce enough biomethane to meet the needs of around 200 households! And with virtually no emissions, noise or smell. In addition, all the manure remains on site, so no transportation is required. Farmers (or farmer’s cooperatives) can start to make a profit using this system if they have around 170 cows or more. We believe that this innovative system will enable the sector to make so much progress when it comes to sustainability. If just 1000 Bio-Up systems are brought into use, this would reduce the CO2 emissions of the entire agricultural sector by around 8%.’Bio Up-393_klein

Innovation in the east of the Netherlands
Bio-Up is a prime example of the innovation in the eastern regions of the Netherlands. Astrid Pap, policy developer specializing in bio-energy at the province of Overijssel, explains more: ‘This is a fantastic innovation and it will make a significant contribution to the goal that the Province of Overijssel has set itself of using 20% renewable energy by 2023. I hope that many Bio-Ups will be installed all over the province!’


Noot voor de redactie
Fotobijschrift (van rechts naar links): Astrid Pap (provincie Overijssel), Zwier van der Vegte (Proefboerderij De Marke) en René Cornelissen (CCS) starten de levering van groen gas aan het gasnet.
Er zijn indien gewenst meer foto’s beschikbaar.

Interessante websites
• Over de Bio-Up en de Open Dag:
• Over Biogasopwerking op boerderijschaal:
• Korte film Omroep Gelderland over de Bio-Up:

Voor meer informatie over de opwerking van biogas en de Bio-Up kunt u contact opnemen met Berry de Jong van van CCS Energie-advies.
T: +31 (0) 570 667000

Nomination BiogasETC for EIT Innovators Award 2015

The project BiogasETC participated in the competition for the EIT Innovators Award 2015 last week. The award ceremony took place during the ‘INNOVEIT 2015’ festival in Budapest, organised by the European Institute of Technology (EIT).

BiogasETC and one other project were selected by Climate KIC out of approx. 60 Climate-KIC projects and were both nominated for the Innovators Award 2015. The two other KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) – KIC InnoEnergy and EIT ICT Labs (renamed to EIT Ditigal during INNOVEIT 2015) – both nominated two projects as well for the Award.

The purpose of the EIT Awards is to promote innovation and encourage entrepreneurship in Europe. By placing the most innovative projects, project-teams and graduates in the spotlights, inspiring examples for the future are created, according to EIT.

The Innovators Award ceremony took place during the EIT Innovation Forum in Budapest on Tuesday May 6th. Congratulations to Rajai Aghabi and the InnoEnergy-KIC project Neptune, winner of the Innovators Award 2015!


Milk quota abolition

The end of milk quota: an opportunity to increase nutrient use efficiency and make climate benefit

On April 1st the milk quota will be abolished. This may lead to greater numbers of cattle per farm and an increased production of manure and greenhouse gas emissions. Dairy farmers who would like to increase their milk production must find solutions to process an increased manure production. Such solutions could include an increased efficiency of nutrient use by using feed additives that increase milk production and reduce the emission of methane. Other examples are methane tractors powered by upgraded biogas produced from manure (Biogas-ETC project), or the improved recycling of nutrients on agricultural farms by using manure separators.Many more solutions are available on the market, yet often unknown to farmers or food industries supporting a nutrient-efficient and climate-friendly milk production. Many solutions can be supported by the financial and policy instruments in the new Common Agricultural Policy.

CSA Booster is a new broker organization aiming to connect agricultural cooperatives and food industries to providers of technologies for these solutions.

This article was published on

Biogas Upgrading Installation transported to WUR experimental farm ‘De Marke’

In December 2014, the installation was transported from Nijkerk, where its final assembly took place, to experimental farm ‘De Marke’ of Wageningen Livestock Research. After installation, cleaning and testing, the demo will start running by the end of January 2015. Raw biogas from the anaerobic digester will then be upgraded to biomethane, which will be injected into the natural gas grid, replacing fossil natural gas with renewable green gas. View photo album.

BiogasETC nominated for the EIT Innovator Award 2015!

Biogas ETC is now one of the two Climate KIC nominees for the 2015 EIT Innovators Award!
Created in 2008, the EIT’s mission is to increase European sustainable growth and competitiveness, to reinforce the innovation capacity of the EU Member States and to create the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. In order to support this aim, the EIT organises annual awards to recognise and reward the successful start-ups, innovative projects and young entrepreneurial talent that Europe has to offer. Every year, each of the KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities; Climate-KIC, EIT ICT Labs and KIC InnoEnergy) selects two nominees for each award category. Biogas ETC now is one of the two Climate-KIC nominees for the 2015 Innovators Award. During the ‘InnovEIT 2015 EIT Innovation Forum on 5-7 May in Budapest, a high-level jury will judge materials provided and the presentations given by the nominees. The overall EIT Innovators Award winner will receive an increased European-wide promotion and the use of the label “EIT Innovators Award Winner 2015” in their profiling and/or marketing activities, as well as a tailored package to support the further development of the project, product or service.

Thesis report: Energizing the countryside, the optimal utilization of small scale gas upgrading at farm sites

Wim Bijkerk, student of the VU University of Amsterdam, completed his BSc thesis within the BiogasETC project in July 2013.
The thesis report is entitled: ‘Energizing the countryside, the optimal utilization of small scale gas upgrading at farm sites’
Dr. René Cornelissen of CCS has acted as Internship coach; 1st assessor was J.A. Neijzen; 2nd assessor was J.P. Dekker.

Summary of the report:

Biogas can be obtained through the digestion of organic waste flows, which provides several advantages. The produced biogas is a sustainable source of energy and reduces the emission of greenhouse gasses, without ending up in the food vs. fuel dilemma. Additional benefits of biomethane, a biogas derived natural gas substitute, is that waste flows yield a valuable product, which can be integrated in the Dutch energy supply very well. Biomethane can play an essential part in the energy transition, because the biogas production is more predictable and controllable than the wind and solar energy production.

Biogas production suits the agricultural sector very well, because agriculture, especially farming, produces large quantities of waste and contributes significantly to the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses. This combination creates opportunities to make the sector more sustainable, without emplacing restraints or limitations on everyday practice. The most suitable for small scale biogas production are farms with relatively large waste flows and a need for fertilizers on pastures. These conditions can be found best at Dutch dairy farms.

The utilization of the produced biogas is an important factor in small scale biogas production. Nowadays nearly all biogas is used to produce heat and power in CHP-units. The low efficiencies and the lack of a sufficient nearby heat demand constrain the usability of this method. In order to overcome these two drawbacks, Cornelissen Consulting Services B.V. is developing a small scale gas upgrading plant to produce biomethane from biogas. Gas upgrading isn’t hindered by the large dissipation of usable energy. The developed installation uses an innovative scrubbing agent, which removes CO2 and H2S simultaneously from the biogas, whereby methane losses are zero.

There are definitely opportunities for small scale biomethane production at farm sites. Biomethane production can be an additional source of revenue, directly though the sales of biomethane and, eventually, indirectly though the induced possibilities, e.g. waste processing. Regardless of any financial benefits, the production of biomethane yields large environmental benefits. One digester and upgrading plant at a dairy farm will reduce GHG-emissions with 346.3 tCO2e/year.

Calculations based on the current tailored plant design and the development up to this point; indicate that small scale upgrading is not yet feasible. The overall design of the installation as well as the scrubbing agent have to be improved. Calculations based on batch production, better heat integration and a more stable scrubbing agent; a future vision indicates a sound and solid case is achievable. The estimated €400,000 investment has a payback time of 6.3 years and the NPV of the project is €64,000 at a 15% discount rate.

This future vision can be achieved through focusing on two key aspects. The first aspect is the design of the plant. Enhancements have to be made to reduce energy and financial losses; key points of interests are the durability of the scrubbing agent, heat integration and a robust design. The second aspect is the valorization of the triggered non-financial benefits, like reduction of GHG’s and manure processing.