Evonik celebrates 1,000th biogas upgrading plant using Sepuran Green membranes

Evonik’s 1,000th reference plant for biogas upgrading with Sepuran Green membranes is being built in Heek, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Sepuran Green membranes from Evonik.
Sepuran Green membranes from Evonik.

The plant is a “PurePac” biogas upgrading project with Bio-CO2 liquefaction by the Dutch plant builder Bright Renewables on behalf of three local farmers. Organic mass consisting of mainly manure will be used for biogas production. The biomass will produce 1,600 Nm³/h of raw biogas, which will be upgraded to high-purity biomethane and 1,200 kg/hr Bio-CO2 using Evonik's Sepuran Green hollow-fibre membranes.

The highly concentrated biomethane will be fed into the local natural gas grid. The food-grade Bio-CO2 will be produced on site and will be available as another regenerative raw material source for the regional beverage industry, for example.

The plant is scheduled to go into operation this November.

“This project marks a special occasion as Evonik achieved their 1,000th reference, showing our joint commitment to excellence, innovation, renewable energy, and sustainability,” says Jafeth Bulsink, sales manager at Bright Renewables. “We are looking forward to more biogas plants where our technologies come together.”

"There are just twelve years between the first biogas test plant and the 1,000th reference plant with Sepuran Green membranes," says Dr Goetz Baumgarten, head of Evonik’s Membranes Innovation Growth Field. “The market success of our membrane business is based on Evonik's innovative strength, which originates in our polymer expertise.”

Since Sepuran was launched in 2011, Evonik has worked with selected partners to develop its membrane technology into a new quality standard in biogas upgrading.

Germany is home to around 10,000 biogas plants that produce around 95 terawatt hours (TWh) of biogas annually. Of this, around 85 TWh is converted to electricity and heat on site. Biogas upgrading using membranes is another way of utilizing the renewable energy source in its high-purity components biomethane and Bio-CO2 efficiently.

Sepuran Green membranes are produced at Evonik's site in Schörfling, Austria. The base material - a high-performance polymer - is produced in neighbouring Lenzing.