EMPIR project on biomethane contributes to several ISO projects

Biogas plant

Methods proposed by the project have been accepted by an ISO working group, as part of a standards collaboration with CEN

The project

Biomethane is gas comprised primarily of methane, which is produced through the upgrading of biogas or through gasification of solid biomass, followed by methanation. EN 16723 sets specifications for biomethane for injection into natural gas networks and for use as automotive fuels.

As natural gas resources decline in the EU and reliance on imported gas increases, the diversity of European natural gas sources becomes more important than ever. Additionally, European legislation has set targets for replacing the consumption of fossil fuels in the EU with renewable resources. Biomethane meets both of these needs, as it does not rely on non-renewable natural gas resources and is able to be generated almost anywhere.

EMPIR project ‘Metrology for biomethane’ (16ENG05, Biomethane) improved measurement standards and calibration methods for conformity assessment of biomethane, allowing for better characterisation of impurities and validating novel test methods.

Input into standards

Building on the work of the project, nine proposed methods have been submitted to ISO/TC 193/SC 1/WG 25 Biomethane to be further developed into documentary standards. Of the nine submissions, three methods – which cover the measurement of the ammonia, siloxane, and silicon content of biomethane – have been submitted to become standards. A fourth – which covers the measurement of amines – was developed as a technical specification (ISO/TS 2610:2022), which enables laboratories to provide further feedback on the method before making it a full standard. The other five proposals are expected to become new ISO projects under ISO/TC193/SC1/WG25 in the near future.

The activities of ISO/TC193/SC1/WG25 have also led to a collaboration between ISO/TC193/SC1 “Analysis of natural gas” and CEN/TC408 “Biomethane for use in transport and injection in natural gas pipelines.” The collaboration between these ISO and CEN committees will lead to the development and updating of standards, catalysed by the outputs of the Biomethane project.

Project coordinator Jianrong Li (VSL), has said about the project:

“The success of the project replied on joint efforts from consortium partners and great collaborations with stakeholders. The project outputs certainly brought benefits to the biomethane topic area and improved infrastructure for biomethane conformity assessment.”

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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