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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Events

ESRIG-EES colloquium: Zili Yuan, MSc EES students

When:Tu 12-11-2019 16:00 - 16:30
Where:5159.0110, Energy Academy, Nijenborgh 6.

Title:Second Generation Biogas feedstock availability in the EU and China - A Comparison Study.

By: Zili Yuan, MSc EES student.

Because of the further commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fitting the agenda of the Paris Agreement, in the following decades, the EU and China are both in a rapid energy transition phase. Natural gas is now playing an essential role in both regions' energy structure. As a conventional energy source, the consumption of natural gas will produce greenhouse gas emissions, and this should be avoided. Finding a reliable replacement for natural gas is essential to the EU. Gas is heavily promoted in China as an alternative to coal because of environmental conditions. Hence, biogas could be the right solution for both regions, both in terms of energy transition and energy security.

Different from the traditional biogas, which requires food products such as maize as raw material, resulting in sabotaging food security, second-generation biogas production utilizes the residues and waste material/biomass from agricultural, forestry and other sectors as feedstock, without putting food supply at risk.

This study, therefore, focuses on exploring the feedstock availability of second-generation biogas in both the EU and China. Scientific literatures are reviewed, and their results are concluded for the estimation of potential in the EU; based on literatures, a calculation method was then developed based on the existing data and the limited literatures to estimate the potential in China .

It is concluded that for the EU, 5,400 PJ of biomass can be utilized for second-generation energy production a year, which would produce around 108 BCM of bio-methane, covers 23% of the annual gas consumption in the EU. As for China, the potential is 13,703 PJ a year and covers up to 113% of its annual gas consumption. The production potential per capita is similar between the EU and China, and the contribution to the total energy consumption is also similar. The potential per capita in China and the EU are similar at around 6.89 GJ and 7.42 GJ per year per inhabitant. This respectively covers around 5.5% and 7.3% of the annual primary energy use per capita in the EU and China.

Because of the limited knowledge on the effect of removing residue from the land on soil quality and productivity, the precautionary principle should always be prioritized when the potential is explored.