Biogas

The beauty of biogas

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Biogas is a direct, zero carbon replacement for natural gas and is produced by anaerobic digestion of organic waste (food waste, food processing waste, sewage – anything you can compost).
Unlocking New Zealand's Renewable Natural Gas Potential

Biogas and Biomethane in NZ

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A joint study by Beca, Firstgas Group and Fonterra reveals renewable gas is a viable, untapped solution to decarbonising New Zealand’s residential natural gas network right now, with the potential to replace nearly 20% of New Zealand’s total gas usage by 2050.

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A direct, zero carbon replacement for natural gas

When it’s produced, biogas is about 50% methane and 50% CO2, so it doesn’t burn as cleanly as natural gas – which is 95% methane. However, we can we treat it (using equipment that comes pre-packaged in a shipping container!) and turn it into biomethane: a clean burning, zero carbon gas that’s pipeline ready and can be used in any gas appliance currently available on the market.

The past two decades have seen huge growth in the production and use of biogas globally, particularly in the UK, Germany and Denmark. In fact, biogas now makes up 20% of Denmark’s natural gas – and this is expected to increase to 30% by 202319. The technologies used to produce, upgrade and inject biogas into gas networks are improving all the time, which means it’s getting cheaper too.

Did you know?

Anaerobic digestion

‘Anaerobic digestion’ is a process very similar to composting, but the difference is that it takes place with no air/oxygen present.

There’s also a valuable CO2 by-product created during biogas production, which can be used in industrial processes, to make fizzy drinks, or fed into a greenhouse to enhance plant growth.

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Hydrogen trial results

The Hydrogen Feasibility Study

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For Firstgas Group, the Hydrogen Pipeline Trial Study set the foundation for our ongoing delivery work on hydrogen. The results show we have sufficient network capacity and a viable strategy for converting our networks to hydrogen: painting the picture of what a zero carbon gas future could look like for Aotearoa.

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