Biogas and bio-hydrogen: production and uses. A review

Appressi, Lorenzo (2015) Biogas and bio-hydrogen: production and uses. A review. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Ingegneria per l'ambiente e il territorio [LM-DM270]
Documenti full-text disponibili:
Documento PDF
Download (3MB) | Anteprima


The first part of this essay aims at investigating the already available and promising technologies for the biogas and bio-hydrogen production from anaerobic digestion of different organic substrates. One strives to show all the peculiarities of this complicate process, such as continuity, number of stages, moisture, biomass preservation and rate of feeding. The main outcome of this part is the awareness of the huge amount of reactor configurations, each of which suitable for a few types of substrate and circumstance. Among the most remarkable results, one may consider first of all the wet continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR), right to face the high waste production rate in urbanised and industrialised areas. Then, there is the up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB), aimed at the biomass preservation in case of highly heterogeneous feedstock, which can also be treated in a wise co-digestion scheme. On the other hand, smaller and scattered rural realities can be served by either wet low-rate digesters for homogeneous agricultural by-products (e.g. fixed-dome) or the cheap dry batch reactors for lignocellulose waste and energy crops (e.g. hybrid batch-UASB). The biological and technical aspects raised during the first chapters are later supported with bibliographic research on the important and multifarious large-scale applications the products of the anaerobic digestion may have. After the upgrading techniques, particular care was devoted to their importance as biofuels, highlighting a further and more flexible solution consisting in the reforming to syngas. Then, one shows the electricity generation and the associated heat conversion, stressing on the high potential of fuel cells (FC) as electricity converters. Last but not least, both the use as vehicle fuel and the injection into the gas pipes are considered as promising applications. The consideration of the still important issues of the bio-hydrogen management (e.g. storage and delivery) may lead to the conclusion that it would be far more challenging to implement than bio-methane, which can potentially “inherit” the assets of the similar fossil natural gas. Thanks to the gathered knowledge, one devotes a chapter to the energetic and financial study of a hybrid power system supplied by biogas and made of different pieces of equipment (natural gas thermocatalitic unit, molten carbonate fuel cell and combined-cycle gas turbine structure). A parallel analysis on a bio-methane-fed CCGT system is carried out in order to compare the two solutions. Both studies show that the apparent inconvenience of the hybrid system actually emphasises the importance of extending the computations to a broader reality, i.e. the upstream processes for the biofuel production and the environmental/social drawbacks due to fossil-derived emissions. Thanks to this “boundary widening”, one can realise the hidden benefits of the hybrid over the CCGT system.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Appressi, Lorenzo
Relatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Earth resources engineering
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Biogas, biohydrogen, hybrid system, natural gas thermal decomposition
Data di discussione della Tesi
17 Luglio 2015

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza il documento