E.ON and Pannonia Bio feed corn stover biogas into national grid

The nearly 100% pure biomethane is an entirely renewable energy source.

Biomethane derived from plant fibre has been integrated into the domestic natural gas grid as a result of cooperation between E.ON Hungária Group and Pannonia Bio Co. whose biorefinery in Dunaföldvár processes feed corn and barley to produce biomethane. The quality of this high-purity biogas made of residual plant fibres is equivalent to that of natural gas.

As the largest feed maize processor in Central Europe, and the owner of the third largest barley plant in the world, Pannonia Bio Co. is one of Hungary’s largest renewable energy producers. Every year, it produces as much green energy as a 2000 MW solar farm. This is equivalent to the annual energy demand of more than 600,000 households, which is the total energy demand of the 12 most populous Hungarian cities in the countryside.

The fibre selected during grain processing at their Dunaföldvár biogas plant, the largest facility of its kind in Eastern Europe, is utilized as an intermediate product to produce biomethane that is almost 100% pure. This process, utilizing closed technology and without wastewater emissions, has been integrated into the Hungarian natural gas grid since June of last year as part of a joint development with E.ON Hungária Group.

E.ON’s strategic goal is to help its customers operate in an environmentally friendly- and energy efficient manner. E.ON plays a crucial role in this join effort, both logistically and technologically: it was the first to build a pipeline linking the production plant to the gas network. Since the beginning of production, E.ON has been delivering biogas into the gas network accoding to consistent quality control and strict technical parameters.

This new development serves as a best practice, as natural gas-quality biogas is being produced from 100% residual plant fibre, and is used locally, delivered to customers via E.ON’s distribution network. As Pannonia Bio is the largest gas consumer in the Szekszárd area, the company utilizes on site most of the biogas that is produced, thus no further transportat is required.

This project is likely to facilitate similar partnerships, as biogas can be produced from almost any agricultural product, and biomethane purity, crucial to the process, can be guaranteed through E.ON’s involvement. Thus biogas producers can contribute to the natural gas system under the same conditions as natural gas producers, if their product meets strict quality standards.