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Development of measurement technologies for the determination of gas composition

How can we improve techniques that measure trace components commonly found in biogas and biomethane, so that they can be detected with a high accuracy and at a sufficiently low detection limit?

Erik Polman (Photo: EDGaR/Jan Buwalda)

When biogas will be introduced in the grid, it will multiply injection points. Whilst the volume of biogas remains relatively low, all injection points have to be carefully monitored by the gas producer, since the quality of biogas varies periodically. Grid operators have to rely on a good gas quality, monitored by adequate continuous or discontinuous measurements.

By using chromatography, we can detect trace components in biogas, such as sulphurous components, halocarbons and silicon containing compounds. These measurements are, however, especially for silicon containing compounds, not optimized and uniform. Besides, control laboratories do not refer to the same standards, which make the comparison of results difficult. Finally, there is room for the optimization of the detection of components close to the detection limit.

At the present state of the art, we miss accurate and reliable methods to determine trace components in biogas and biomethane. This seriously hinders the injection of new gas quality into the grid. Furthermore, gas monitoring equipment is costly. With the perspective of several new gas injection points with the increasing need for gas monitoring, there is a need for cheaper monitoring techniques.

In this cooperative project, we will develop new basic standards for trace components found in biogas and biomethane and optimize measurement techniques. We will make a comparison between two metering techniques, the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the ion drift. The grid operators Alliander, Stedin and Enexis will supply data from biogas plants. Furthermore, a doctoral student, who works at the MESA + Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, will perform additional researches. Finally, we will come up with a proof of principle for a calorific meter based on nanotechnology.

Theme: From monogas to multigas 
Leader: Erik Polman (Kiwa) 
Partners: Kiwa, Liander, Enexis, Stedin, Gasunie (research performed by DNV GL)
Budget: 0.5 million euro
Duration: July 2010 / December 2014

Participants

Michiel van Dam (Enexis)
Esther Hardi (Alliander)
Albert van der Molen (Stedin)
Erik Polman (KIWA)
Danny Rekers (KIWA)
Henk Top (DNV GL)
Martin Veldkamp (Kiwa)

Proceedings

Polman, E.A., W.P. Brouwer, B.J. Gerritsen. “The olfactory of odourised biomethane: a novel approach.” International Gas Union Conference 2014: Gas Innovating Inspiring Clean Energy, Vol. I. pp. 2544–49. Fornebu: International Gas Union, 2014.

Report

Polman, Eric. “Development of existing and new measurement technologies for determination of the gas composition.” Apeldoorn: Kiwa Technology (report GT15-0029), 2015.

Other publications

Top, Henk."Online analyse van sporencomponenten in gas." Automatie, 6 (2011).

Conference paper

Polman, Erik. "Trace gas components in biomethane: the devil is in the details." Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.

Polman, E.A., W.P. Brouwer, B.J. Gerritsen. “The olfactory of odourised biomethane: a novel approach.” International Gas Union Research Conference 2014, Copenhagen, September 2014.

Polman, Erik. “Onderzoek naar sporencomponenten: siloxanen.” Themamiddag EDGaR, Apeldoorn, April 2013.

Polman, Erik. ‘Development of new measurement technologies and the change in gas quality.’ Fourth Research Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Hilversum, April, 2012.

Polman, Erik. ‘Gaskwaliteit en meetmiddelen: EDGaR als ruimtestation naar de toekomst’. Themamiddag EDGaR, Apeldoorn, februari 2012.

Polman, Eric. “From biogas to biomethane: a matter of control.” 25th IGU World Gas Conference, Kuala Lumpur, June 2012. 

Top, Henk. ‘Experience with online trace level sulphur analysis in natural gas using micro-GC technology with a Differential Mobility Detector (DMD).’ GAS2011, Rotterdam, February 2011.

Poster

Polman, Erik, Bert Gerritsen. “Development of measurement methods for trace gas components in biomethane.” Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.

Polman, Erik. “Development of existing and new measurement technologies for determination of the gas composition: work in progress.” Fifth Research Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Nunspeet, April 2013.

In the news

"Chaging gas quality and security." Energy Delta Gas Research, 16 April 2013.