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The Biogas Handbook - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780857094988, 9780857097415

The Biogas Handbook

1st Edition

Science, Production and Applications

Editors: Arthur Wellinger Jerry Murphy David Baxter
Hardcover ISBN: 9780857094988
eBook ISBN: 9780857097415
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 19th February 2013
Page Count: 512
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Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy



Organisations supporting IEA Bioenergy Task 37 - Energy from Biogas

Part 1: Biomass resources, feedstock treatment and biogas production

Chapter 1: Biogas as an energy option: an overview


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Biogas technologies and environmental efficiency

1.3 Political drivers and legislation

1.4 Health, safety and risk assessment

1.5 Conclusions and future trends

1.6 Sources of further information and advice

Chapter 2: Biomass resources for biogas production


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Categories of biomass appropriate as feedstocks for biogas production

2.3 Characteristics of biogas feedstock

2.4 Resource availability and supply chain issues

2.5 Conclusion

Chapter 3: Analysis and characterisation of biogas feedstocks


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Preliminary feedstock characterisation

3.3 Essential laboratory analysis of feedstocks

3.4 Additional laboratory analysis of feedstocks

3.5 Detailed feedstock evaluation

3.6 Conclusions

3.7 Sources of further information and advice

Chapter 4: Storage and pre-treatment of substrates for biogas production


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Storage and ensiling of crops for biogas production

4.3 Pre-treatment technologies for biogas production

4.4 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 5: Fundamental science and engineering of the anaerobic digestion process for biogas production


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Microbiology

5.3 Microbial environment

5.4 Gas production and feedstocks

5.5 Reactor configuration

5.6 Parasitic energy demand of process

5.7 Laboratory analysis and scale up

5.8 Modelling and optimisation of anaerobic digestion

5.9 Conclusions and future trends

Chapter 6: Optimisation of biogas yields from anaerobic digestion by feedstock type


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Defining optimisation

6.3 Basic definitions and concepts

6.4 Overcoming limitation as a result of hydraulic retention time (HRT)

6.5 Increasing the metabolic capacity of a digester

6.6 Matching feedstocks and digester type

6.7 Case studies

6.8 Future trends

Chapter 7: Anaerobic digestion as a key technology for biomass valorization: contribution to the energy balance of biofuel chains


7.1 Introduction

7.2 The role of anaerobic digestion in biomass chains

7.3 A framework for approaching the role of anaerobic digestion within biomass chains

7.4 Contribution of anaerobic digestion to the energy balance of biofuel chains

7.5 Conclusion and future trends

Part 2: Plant design, engineering, process optimisation and digestate utilisation

Chapter 8: Design and engineering of biogas plants


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Digestion unit

8.3 Gas storage

8.4 Pipework, pumps and valves

8.5 Site characteristics and plant layout

8.6 Process control technology

8.7 Social and legal aspects

8.8 Practical challenges and future trends

Chapter 9: Energy flows in biogas plants: analysis and implications for plant design


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Energy demand of biogas plants

9.3 Energy supply for biogas plants

9.4 Balancing energy flows

9.5 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 10: Process control in biogas plants


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Process analysis and monitoring

10.3 Optimising and implementing on-line process control in biogas plants

10.4 Mathematical process modelling and optimisation in practice

10.5 Advantages and limitations of process control

10.6 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 11: Methane emissions in biogas production


11.1 Introduction

11.2 Methane emissions in biogas production

11.3 Methane emissions in biogas utilization, biogas upgrading and digestate storage

11.4 Overall methane emissions

11.5 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 12: Biogas digestate quality and utilization


12.1 Introduction

12.2 Digestate quality

12.3 Processing of digestate

12.4 Utilization of digestate and digestate fractions

12.5 Conclusion

Chapter 13: Land application of digestate


13.1 Introduction

13.2 Overview of substrates and land application of digestate

13.3 Field experience of land application and associated environmental impacts

13.4 Conclusion and future trends

13.5 Acknowledgements

Part III: Biogas utilisation: international experience and best practice

Chapter 14: Biogas cleaning


14.1 Introduction

14.2 Biogas characterisation and quality standards

14.3 Biogas cleaning techniques

14.4 Biogas cleaning in combination with upgrading

14.5 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 15: Biogas upgrading to biomethane


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Development and overview of biogas upgrading

15.3 Biogas cleaning and upgrading technologies

15.4 Costs of biogas upgrading

15.5 Conclusion

Chapter 16: Biomethane injection into natural gas networks


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Technical and legal conditions of biomethane feed-in in Germany

16.3 Design and operation of injection utilities

16.4 Biomethane quality adjustments

16.5 Economic aspects of biomethane injection

16.6 Optimization and efficiency increase

16.7 Conclusion and future trends

16.10 Appendix: glossary

Chapter 17: Generation of heat and power from biogas for stationary applications: boilers, gas engines and turbines, combined heat and power (CHP) plants and fuel cells


17.1 Introduction

17.2 Biogas and biomethane combustion issues

17.3 Utilisation of biogas for the generation of electric power and heat in stationary applications

17.4 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 18: Biomethane for transport applications


18.1 Biomethane as a transport fuel

18.2 Biomethane distribution logistics and the synergies of jointly used natural gas and biomethane

18.3 Growth of the natural gas vehicle market in Sweden

18.4 Extent and potential of the natural gas vehicle world market

18.5 Future trends

18.6 References

Chapter 19: Market development and certification schemes for biomethane


19.1 Introduction

19.2 Market development

19.3 Biomethane certification and mass balancing

19.4 European mass balancing schemes for biomethane

19.5 Future trends

19.6 Sources of further information and advice



With pressure increasing to utilise wastes and residues effectively and sustainably, the production of biogas represents one of the most important routes towards reaching national and international renewable energy targets. The biogas handbook: Science, production and applications provides a comprehensive and systematic guide to the development and deployment of biogas supply chains and technology.

Following a concise overview of biogas as an energy option, part one explores biomass resources and fundamental science and engineering of biogas production, including feedstock characterisation, storage and pre-treatment, and yield optimisation. Plant design, engineering, process optimisation and digestate utilisation are the focus of part two. Topics considered include the engineering and process control of biogas plants, methane emissions in biogas production, and biogas digestate quality, utilisation and land application. Finally, part three discusses international experience and best practice in biogas utilisation. Biogas cleaning and upgrading to biomethane, biomethane use as transport fuel and the generation of heat and power from biogas for stationery applications are all discussed. The book concludes with a review of market development and biomethane certification schemes.

With its distinguished editors and international team of expert contributors, The biogas handbook: Science, production and applications is a practical reference to biogas technology for process engineers, manufacturers, industrial chemists and biochemists, scientists, researchers and academics working in this field.

Key Features

  • Provides a concise overview of biogas as an energy option
  • Explores biomass resources for production
  • Examines plant design and engineering and process optimisation


Process engineers and manufacturers; Industrial biochemists/chemists; Biogas plant operators; Scientists, researchers and academics in the fields of renewable energy, agricultural technology and waste management


No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2013
19th February 2013
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


The extent and depth of knowledge and experience captured in The Biogas Handbook will help the emerging AD and biogas industries construct and operate state-of-the-art (and science) biogas plants., BioCycle
As an Editor, I am impressed with the handbook's ability to convey technical and scientific information in a style that can be understood by individuals with varying levels of knowledge about the topics discussed., Nora Goldstein, BioCycle

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Arthur Wellinger

Arthur Wellinger is Managing Director of Triple E&M, an internationally operating research and consulting company located in Switzerland, and President of the European Biogas Association.

Affiliations and Expertise

Nova Energie, Switzerland

Jerry Murphy

Jerry Murphy is the Lead Investigator in Bioenergy and Biofuels in the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork, Ireland.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director of Bioenergy and Biofuels Research, Environmental Research Institute, School of Engineering, University College Cork, Ireland

David Baxter

David Baxter is a member of the Sustainable Transport Unit in the Institute for Energy & Transport of the Joint Research Centre (European Commission, Petten, The Netherlands). He is part of a team providing scientific and technical support to the development and maintenance of sustainability schemes for biomass and bioenergy, including biofuels. In addition, he is a member of the European Bioenergy Industrial Initiative (EIBI) team which is operated within the frame of the Strategic Energy Technologies (SET) Plan. He is also the leader of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy Biogas Task 37, promoting economically and environmentally sustainable management of biogas production and utilisation from agricultural residues, energy crops and municipal wastes.

David Baxter is a materials engineer who joined the European Commission Joint Research Centre in 1991 after working in an industrial company supplying components for power generation and transport.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute for Energy, European Commission Joint Research Centre, The Netherlands