A 1-day introduction to the science, technology and economics of Biogas and other Biopower solutions.
Designed specifically to be accessible to non-experts and the
commercially-minded, this course describes the various feedstock sources
and processes through which biomass can be converted into biogas and/or
electrical power. It is particularly aimed at non-engineers who need to
understand the basics of the science and technology but want them
explained in a simple, hype-free manner and within a clear economic and
It provides an excellent basic grounding for business people from a
variety of sectors including biomass supply (e.g. agriculture, waste,
forestry), processing (e.g. biogas and biopower facilities or
equipment), energy distribution and end-use (e.g. power utilities); plus
investors or regulators across the supply chain.
Although the course includes scientific and technical information and
terminology, we assume no prior technical knowledge – indeed a key aim
is to demystify the terminology and language you will encounter within
the bioenergy industries.
The course runs in a friendly, informal manner, encouraging
discussions and questions to ensure that participants get the most out
of their time. In order to better understand and illustrate the various
topics, some simple calculations and other explanatory exercises may be
Course begins: 09:00
Course ends: 17:00
(Timings are approximate and include lunch plus morning and afternoon refreshment breaks)
Biogas and Biopower Markets and Feedstocks
- Applications of biopower, both via biogas and direct from biomass.
- Other markets for biogas, via upgrading to biomethane
- The fundamentals of biomass feedstock, including energy content, chemical and physical properties, ease of conversion.
- Types of feedstock (including first, second, third and subsequent generations).
- Sources and security of feedstock supplies (including energy crops, animal and human wastes, landfill etc.).
- Navigating the maze of terminology: digestion, pyrolysis, gasification, FT synthesis, W2E, upgrading and more.
Biogas Conversion Pathways
- “Natural” vs. Thermochemical gasification processes
- Feedstock options; including crops, animal and other wastes
- Biomass pre-processing.
- Pathways to methane, hydrogen and other useful gas fuels
- Key processes, including anaerobic digestion, landfill gas capture and thermal gasification
- Applications and uses of biomass-derived gases;
- Low-calorie biogas uses
- Upgrading and grid-injected biomethane
- Market and supply chain issues
- Current Biogas activities and examples
- Contrasting biomass pathways and processes for power with those for fuels
- Direct biomass-to-power conversions vs. biomass-to-gas-to-power
- Integrating biomass with fossil fuel power production: co-firing
- Understanding power markets, pricing and competition
- Levelised electricity cost as a method for comparing power technologies: how it is calculated and which factors affect it.
- Power-only vs. CHP (combined heat and power)
- Current Biopower activities and examples
Other Market Factors and Economics
- The competitive context of biogas and biopower.
- Pros and cons of biomass as compared to its conventional and renewable competitors.
- Cost contributions, scales and factors.
- Regulations, government support schemes and bioenergy economics.
- Bioenergy in the wider global energy landscape including: peak oil,
energy security, climate change and other socio-political aspects and
- Carbon markets (and other carbon reduction mechanisms) and bioenergy.