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Wärtsilä & Vantaa Energy Ltd. to cooperate on a carbon-neutral synthetic biogas production project

The technology group Wärtsilä and Vantaa Energy Ltd., a Finnish energy company, have signed an agreement on a joint concept feasibility study for a Power-to-Gas facility at Vantaa Energy’s waste-to-energy plant in the city of Vantaa in the capital region. The co-development agreement was signed in May and is valid for 12 months.

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Rendering of synthetic biogas production in a Power-to-Gas facility at Vantaa Energy’s waste-to-energy plant for the needs of district heating and transport.


The Power-to-Gas facility would produce carbon-neutral synthetic biogas using carbon dioxide emissions and electricity generated at the waste-to-energy plant. The purpose of the joint study is to confirm the optimal size of the project, the cost of synthetic biogas for district heating, and to understand the boundary conditions for project feasibility.

Once feasible, the parties intend to continue joint development of the project towards a commercial-scale pilot project. Synthetic biogas would replace the use of conventional natural gas in district heating, thereby reducing Vantaa Energy’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Wärtsilä has been actively working on and investing in Power-to-X research since 2018, during which time we have gained a thorough general understanding of the technology. This co-development agreement will allow us to apply the know-how into a real project. We are very excited about this opportunity as it will demonstrate the feasibility of synthetic fuels as an integral part of power and heat systems, while developing the overall sector coupling concepts going forward. Both Vantaa Energy and Wärtsilä share a vision of a 100% renewable energy future, and this project is a perfect place to start building that vision into concrete business.

—Matti Rautkivi, Director, Strategy and Business Development at Wärtsilä Energy Business

Wärtsilä will contribute its know-how in Power-to-Gas process and technologies, while Vantaa Energy will bring its experience and understanding of the district heating business and project-specific requirements to the feasibility study.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

While waste-to-fuel is almost always a good thing, I wonder just how efficiently digesters convert waste to methane.  There's a lot of CO2 produced which represents losses to bacterial metabolism, and methane itself is a fairly stable molecule meaning plenty of energy lost compared to the feedstock.  There are probably other pathways which do a much better job of converting the feedstock to useful energy.

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