Producing energy through the methanation of waste from extraction operations
What is methanation?
Methanation (or anaerobic digestion) is a natural biological process that decomposes organic matter. During the methanation process, a portion of the organic matter is transformed into methane (i.e. natural gas) which can then be used to produce energy. Naturex's factories in Valencia (Spain) and Milan (Italy) call on this process to recycle waste created during extraction operations. The waste is transferred to a bio-methanation plant where the primary focus is to ferment organic matter using a piece of equipment known as a “digestor”.
How is the methane used?
Methane derived from waste extraction operations can be used by the bio-methanation plant itself to power a boiler. It can also be used to achieve cogeneration, i.e. to power a turbine that generates electricity, or it may be re-injected into the network, or used as a biofuel.
In 2016, 1233 tons of waste in Italy and 254 in Spain were treated using this process. It is an excellent way to responsibly and sustainably manage organic waste, while contributing to the production of renewable energy.