Biomethane as a new frontier

The next frontier of biogas is called biomethane and sees us committed in the front line with the IESBIOUP project.

Biomethane is a gas derived from biogas, which has undergone a process of refining and purification, called upgrading, whose concentration of methane CH4 surpass 98%. It has characteristics and conditions of use corresponding to those of natural gas and is suitable for the introduction of natural gas into the network.

A green future

The biogas, desulphurized and dehumidified, is subjected to a purification process, in order to separate the methane from the other gases that make up the biogas mixture. The biomethane obtained can be used, marketed and transferred, in gaseous or liquefied form, like natural gas.

The advantages of biomethane

  • Programmable renewable source
  • Reduction of dependence on imports
  • Development of the local economy
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Perfect example of circular economy
  • Reduction of emissions and greenhouse effect
  • Maximum flexibility

Snam’s commitment to biomethane

Snam is one of the world’s leading energy infrastructure companies. Active in Italy, Albania, Austria, China, France, Greece, France, Greece and the United Kingdom and first in Europe in terms of transmission network extension and natural gas storage capacity. As part of the 2019-2023 strategic plan, it will invest €1.4 billion in the SnamTec project, focused on innovation and energy transition. Under this programme, 250 million will be allocated to biomethane, with the construction of new plants with a total capacity of 40 megawatts.

Biomethane has great potential in the field of transport and sustainable mobility, especially following the issuance of the incentives decree in 2018. A car powered by renewable gas has even lower emissions than the already low emissions of a CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicle. In February 2019, in the province of Siena, Snam inaugurated the first car and truck refuelling in Italy with only biomethane from OFMSW, at a new service station built in collaboration with IP.

The biomethane sector is developing rapidly. Today in Italy there are about ten plants that feed renewable gas into the Snam network, distributed between North, Central and South Italy.

Sustainable mobility and biomethane

The future of “green” mobility in our country is closely linked to the diffusion of natural gas and biomethane, which represent the “Italian way” to the decarbonisation of transport. Italy is a leader in Europe for automobiles circulating in CNG (compressed natural gas), a technology that breaks down particulates and nitrogen oxides and considerably reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional fuels such as diesel and petrol. Biomethane makes g-mobility renewable and even more green: this resource, which can be obtained from the organic fraction of municipal waste or from agricultural and agri-food wastes, emits almost zero levels of dust (as well as conventional natural gas) and It further reduces CO2 compared to methane and traditional fuels. The emissions of a biomethane vehicle are comparable to those of an electric vehicle powered by wind power.

Italy has a potential production of biomethane estimated by the CIB (Italian Biogas Consortium) in 10 billion cubic meters. If the biomethane potentially manufacturable in Italy was entirely destined for transport, as expected by the relevant incentive decree, it could fuel a third of the fleet with renewable energy at 100%. The possibilities of use and the further development of sustainable mobility in Italy are concrete and demonstrate the presence of a distribution network of about 1,250 plants, constantly increasing, a fleet of more than one million light vehicles that can use biomethane right away, as well as 3,300 methane buses.