After 2011/12 and 2014/15, the Biogas Compendium (formerly Biogas Atlas) is now being updated and extended for the third time. In addition, the Biogas Compendium is published in English for the first time.
The subtitle "Waste-to-Biogas" makes it clear that the range of plants covered has been extended to include residual waste biogas plants. Biogas plants based on renewable raw materials are still not included.
The new Biogas Compendium presents a total of 123 plants in Germany and 162 plants in other European countries. This means that the number of plants shown has once again in-creased significantly, despite the fact that some older plants have ceased operation. This proves the dynamics and the competitive pressure, especially in the area of food waste and commercial waste.
Nevertheless, the sector of waste management remains optimistic. The fermentation of waste and the resulting energy and material recovery of native organic waste remains the political goal of sustainable waste management and the central pillar of a circular economy. The unused potential for the fermentation of waste is still enormous. The native-organic components remaining in residual waste alone account for about 35 % of the residual waste from private households, as recently revealed by a comprehensive study on the composition of household waste in Germany (nationwide household waste analysis commissioned by the Federal Environment Agency).
These optimistic expectations are also based on the fact that biogas can play a central role in a renewable energy economy, in flexible electricity generation as well as in the area of fuel and as a heat supplier. The storable biogas can always supply energy when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing and is thus an ideal supplement in the overall concept of renewable energies.
The material potential of biogenic waste is not or hardly reduced by the use of biogenic waste for energy purposes provided that the plant technology is appropriate. Essential raw materials, especially phosphate and carbon, are returned to the natural cycle. In this way, biowaste fermentation (usually in combination with downstream composting) contributes to limiting climate change through the generation of renewable energy, through the sequestration of carbon in humus and, not least, through the saving of otherwise necessary energy in fertiliser production.
The Biogas Compendium aims to update and provide an overview of German and European biogas plants for biogenic waste from private households and the commercial sector. We know that especially for Europe the documentation is not complete and needs to be further expanded, so there will certainly be updates in future. If you know of any other plants that are not documented in this book, we would appreciate your feedback (email@example.com). Thank you in advance.
Finally, we would like to thank all those who have actively contributed to the creation of the Biogas Compendium and supported the project. Our special thanks go to the plant operators for their cooperation and provision of data and photos, to the system suppliers and sponsors as well as to all the companies that have supported the realisation of this book with their technical and financial contributions.
Last but not least, we would like to thank the ASA – Arbeitsgemeinschaft Stoffspezifische Abfallbehandlung, Ennigerloh (Germany), Consorzio Italiano Compostatori, Treviglio (Italy) and the Austrian Compost & Biogas Association, Vienna (Austria) for their cooperation and support.
We hope that the Biogas Compendium 2021/22 will provide you with useful and interesting information and contribute to the networking of the sector.
Witzenhausen, October 2021
Michael Kern Thomas Raussen