First onsite bio-LNG production plant for maritime transport

With the FirstBio2Shipping project, partners Attero, Nordsol and Titan aim to decarbonize the maritime sector by demonstrating the first industrial plant producing renewable, low-carbon bio liquified natural gas (bio-LNG) in a standardised and scalable fashion, enabling the cost-effective substitution of heavy fuel oil (HFO).

The demonstration plant aims to produce 6 million Nm3 /year of biogas, 2,400 tons/year biomethane and 5,000 tons/year bio-CO₂. The project would reduce GHG by 92% compared to a reference scenario. Planned date of operation is Q1 2024.

The FirstBio2Shipping project was one of the first projects to receive funding from the EU Innovation Fund. Former EC Vice-President Timmermans said: “With today’s investment, the EU is giving concrete support to clean tech projects all over Europe to scale up technological solutions that can help reach climate neutrality by 2050. The increase of the Innovation Fund proposed in the Fit for 55 Package will enable the EU to support even more projects in the future, speed them up, and bring them to the market as quickly as possible.”

Project details

The innovation of the project lies in the direct integration of a new cryogenic liquefaction technology to process biogas and convert it into bio-LNG (the iLNG technology). This increases efficiency and reduces costs. The project will aim to bring the technology beyond the current state-of-the-art in terms of performance, reliability and availability of gas treatment and liquefaction technologies. It will also validate the entire value chain from biogas to bio-LNG as a marine fuel at scale.

Integration resolves key challenges

As shown in the figure above, all the bio-LNG plant units are integrated in a closed loop system where all gases are recovered and recycled. This novel integrated system resolves various challenges commonly found in the production of small-scale LNG, resulting in:

  • Premium bio-LNG quality
  • Zero methane ‘slip’ (i.e. unburned methane which is released during CO₂ venting)
  • Low energy consumption
  • No consumables or toxic chemical waste
Reducing GHG emissions

The produced bio-LNG will reduce GHG emissions by 92% compared to a conventional maritime fuel, representing more than 87500 tCO₂e net absolute emissions avoided during the first ten years of operation. Ongoing R&D efforts will lead to further reductions in methane slip over the next years, bringing even higher GHG emission reduction potential.

7 Reasons for on‑site bio‑LNG production now.

Learn how biogas producers significantly enhance both the ecological and economic value of their biogas through bio-LNG production, utilizing Nordsol’s innovative biogas liquefaction technology.

A 100% drop‑in fuel

The project will deliver bio-LNG to the European marine industry as a 100% ‘drop-in’ fuel, meaning it can be used in general LNG-suited vessels without the need for additional adaptations and it can also be blended with fossil-LNG in any ratio up to 100% without any technical issues. Since maritime transport is hard to electrify (at least in the short to medium term for most vessel types), bio-LNG is an important short-term solution to decarbonise the sector.

CO₂ capturing makes negative emissions possible

In addition to bio-LNG, a biogenic CO₂ stream will be captured and liquefied during the project. Whilst currently being planned to be sold on the wholesale market, any future development of synthetic e-fuel production technologies is likely to find a better use of this product (e.g. synthetic kerosene, oxalic acid or e-LNG). As this would be deemed an additional use of CO₂, negative GHG emissions or net carbon removals can soon become possible.

Our experts

Dorota takes pride in contributing to a sustainable future alongside her like-minded colleagues, knowing that their collaborative efforts positively impact generations to come.

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As chemical engineer in the field of sales Rob feels that the energy transition requires innovative technology. There is a lack of urgency and Rob wants to start working today on sustainable solutions for the future generations to come.

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