The production of biogas by anaerobic digestion of organic substances, such as manure, renewable raw materials and organic waste, is one way of generating renewable energy.
The operation of biogas plants is determined by the organic substances used and the microorganisms involved. Difficulties are caused by the different characteristics of organic substances and their fluctuating quality and prices. On the other hand, the very slow growing microorganisms require a special environment. Even small fluctuations in pressure or temperature can strongly influence the activity of the microorganisms.
Bioenergy in the energy system of the future
The integration of bioenergy into future energy systems requires greater flexibility in biogas production and use. This increases the demands on plant automation. Modeling and simulation can play a major role in the development of automation concepts. The Water & Energy business unit develops software tools that allow the modelling and simulation of biogas plants and sludge digestion in sewage treatment plants.
Simulation tools provide an excellent environment to design and optimize control and automation for biogas production and sludge digestion plants. Tests which cannot be carried out on real plants for economic reasons and for reasons of operational safety can be carried out with any number of models.
The developments of recent years have not yet been sufficient to clarify questions regarding the modelling and simulation of large-scale biogas plants. The Water & Energy division is involved in research projects to advance the modelling of anaerobic processes and to establish their use in planning and optimisation.