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Casaretto, René

Project title: Computation of Efficiency in Biogas Plants with Consideration of Incomplete Mass- and Energybalances based on Calorimetric Investigations  

PhD period: 2016.08.01 – 2019.07.31. (has been prolonged till 2020.01.31)
Section: Esbjerg Energy Section
Research Programme: Biomass
Supervisor: Jens Bo Holm-Nielsen
Co-Supervisor: Jens Born, FH-Flensburg
Contact information

Collaborators: The LSBL 2 Project partners and 10 biogas plants (Danish and German).
Funding: Large Scale Bioenergy Lab 2. Interreg 5a funding - EU. 


Undeniably individual nations face the challenge of climate change due to increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from various activities including energy generation. This has boosted the requirement and development of renewable energy generation to a great extent.

With the focus of reducing GHG emissions, creating a sustainable energy supply and reducing the dependence of fossil fuels, the application of anaerobic digestion technology for management of renewable resources and residual materials from agriculture has boosted biogas production. Germany currently has about 8000 biogas plants which are largely fed with renewable resources and residual materials from the agriculture.

The efficiency of these plants is critical for the economic success, especially in view of the finiteness of promotion by the German government.

To evaluate the influence of process-management, change of input materials, pretreatment methods (chemical, thermic, mechanic), it is necessary to attain the knowledge about the maximal contained degradable energy and the turnover into gas and digestate.

To create a complete mass balance, an understanding and analysis of specific variables which may influence the mass balance is required. The following variable include:

  • Environmental factors (rain quantity etc.)
  • Percolate of the stored materials
  • Digestate output (especially considering of any gravimetric gathering of the output mass)
  • Plant-specific losses by gas-producing, gas-transport, gas-recovery and digestate-handling
  • Dynamic of the digestion process influenced by change of input materials

During this project we will investigate ten biogas plants to acquire the needed data to create correction equations for mass and energy balances. This will be done practically in the lab and the model will be created.


Publications in journals and conference papers may be found at VBN.