Best Biogas Practice
The Austrian Biogas Network has been developed using state of the art methods and instruments for the formation of networks. Essential parts have been the network building and network development orientated on the needs and wants of future network members out of the value added system biogas.
Vision and mission has been developed, as well as strategic aims and objectives of the Austrian Biogas Network. Parts of these developed objectives have already been implemented during the project; others have been formulated, in order to fulfill the envisaged mid and long term goals.
The strategic mid- and long term goals and objectives are within research and development, attractiveness of the network, lobbying and transfer of information and knowledge.
Additionally events have been held and the network has been presented to the public as organizer as well as service provider.
On the homepage set up www.oebn.at, a variety of communication platforms, tools for the creation of transparency and information platforms have been offered and maintained during the project duration.
By the described work the framework for an ongoing network was created.
Another focus was biogas monitoring and benchmarking. Learning from the best - was the key word. The challenge was on the one hand the measurement of the performance of existing and running biogas plants, put this into key values and create benchmarks in order to assist current and future biogas plant planners and operators in carrying out an efficient operation of their plants. The focus was set on plants, using renewable resources as substrate.
After the extensive collection of parameters (cooperation with project "Gütesiegel Ökogas") characterizing parameters of a biogas plant have been selected, and out of these a variety of key values have been calculated and described. After a selection and assessment of key values a final set of a total of 13 key values have been selected according the following areas of biological efficiency, energetic efficiency and economic efficiency. These key values allow a nearly independent comparison of different biogas plants, although it shall be noted, that detailed assessments according the benchmark philosophy for each plant has to be done separately, but the key-values are indicating where weak points or where potential for optimization can be found.
In addition an on-line benchmarking tool was set up, accessible on the homepage of the Austrian Biogas Network, calculating the key-values and offering the anonymous comparison with other biogas plants.
Out of the analysis of a total of 41 investigated biogas plants (according to the cooperation agreement with IFA Tulln) and the detailed analysis of 12 biogas plants the Best Biogas Practice benchmarks and recommendations have been developed.
This suggestion of the Best Biogas Practice Benchmarks and recommendations are a comprehensible, realizable guide, containing the key values of 30 currently biogas plants in operation, as well as 12 selected plants also showing and considering the fermentation parameters.
As stated in the cooperation agreement with the "Gütesiegel Ökogas" project (IFA Tulln), where also suggestions for a benchmarking system are worked out, both suggestions will be harmonized in order to publish only one standard.
DI Rainer Schöftner
Profactor Produktionsforschungs GmbH