In collaboration with Thai company Agriculture of Basin Company Limited (ABC), Osaka Gas launched a pilot project in Thailand to assess the commercial viability of supplying natural gas to vehicles by continuously removing carbon dioxide and other impurities from biogas generated mainly from agricultural waste, and refining it into high purity methane gas.
At its palm oil factory, ABC will digest organic matter contained in factory wastewater to generate biogas, which will be subsequently refined by Osaka Gas into methane gas. ABC will use the refined methane gas as fuel in its own natural gas powered vehicles.
The pilot project is scheduled to run for roughly one year, during which time Osaka Gas will test operate a 250 Nm3/h biogas refining facility that assumes commercial deployment. The project will focus on a verification of a long-time based stable operation and methods to minimize the cost of producing methane gas, as well as determine the effectiveness of the methane produced as a vehicle fuel.
Based on the outcome of pilot testing, ABC will actively continue developing initiatives to effectively utilize the biogas generated at the factory as a fuel for natural gas-powered vehicles.
Osaka Gas has been engaged in developing biogas refining technology since 2012 in a quest to utilize unused biogas, promote energy preservation, and help protect the environment. The company says it is capable of producing high purity methane gas with the world’s highest efficiency in methane recovery at a rate of more than 99%. It has achieved this through its proprietary hybrid biogas refining system which combines a CO2 separation membrane with PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption), a technology that selectively adsorbs and removes CO2.
Agriculture is one of Thailand’s most prominent industries; consequently, there is an abundance of biomass resources. These include palm residue, the remnants of sugarcane crushed to extract juice, and food factory wastewater. Natural gas vehicles are also becoming increasingly prevalent in Thailand. Osaka Gas decided to carry out this pilot project in Thailand based on its confidence in the potential towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by using its unique hybrid biogas refining system to utilize biomass resources effectively.