Video release: Task Force 4.1 presents study on the role of the biomethane industry in satisfying a growing biogenic CO₂ demand

Brussels, 30th of April. Task Force 4.1 has released a video to present their latest study on the role of the biomethane industry in satisfying a growing biogenic CO₂ demand.

Biomethane is not only a promising renewable energy source but is also a vector of much more value. Within Task Force 4, dedicated to identifying best practices for efficient and low-cost biomethane production, subgroup 4.1 has been investigating the biomethane business case optimisation through the valorisation of one of its co-products, biogenic CO₂.

While fossil CO₂ originates as carbon stored for millions of years and is released into the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels, biogenic CO₂ is captured from the atmosphere by plants during photosynthesis and released back into the atmosphere from natural biological processes. With carbon emissions accelerating, the usage of biogenic CO₂ provides a means to avoid the accumulation of fossil CO₂ in the atmosphere.

Biomethane production is a readily available and cost-competitive source of biogenic CO₂. Biogas typically contains 40% biogenic CO₂. Upgrading this biogas to biomethane helps capture this biogenic CO₂, providing a means to offset CO₂ of fossil origin or store the biogenic CO₂ via CCS, providing even negative emissions. A such, this process contributes to the decarbonisation of various industries, as biogenic CO₂ serves as a feedstock in sectors such as food and beverage, building materials, biopolymers, e-fuels, and others.

The current market for CO₂ in Europe is approximately 41 Mt/y, supplied almost entirely by industrial production resulting from burning fossil fuels. Even the most conservative estimates of future renewable CO₂ needs show a demand nearly ten times that by 2050. The study indicates the potential of biomethane production to satisfy a significant share of this demand.

To facilitate the development of the biogenic CO₂ market, several factors need to be addressed. The study identified, among others, CO₂ purity requirements, the cost and complexity of logistics, the price and availability of renewable electricity to liquefy the biogenic CO₂ and the need to appropriately evaluate carbon dioxide removals. Additionally, establishing universally accepted certification for biogenic CO₂ as a product will be crucial.

Biomethane has the potential to supply 125 – 215 Mt of the demand in 2050. Opportunities to combine this biogenic CO₂ with hydrogen for e-fuels, with CCS for negative emissions, and with innovative processes for the production of construction products and biopolymers, among others, will provide exciting renewable market opportunities in the future for biomethane producers.