Swedish biogas technology in Tianjin

The interest in Swedish biogas solutions is growing in China. This shows in locations such as the multi-million city of Tianjin, where a demonstration project with biogas buses is now coming on line.

With its 14 million inhabitants Tianjin suffers, just as Beijing does, from notoriously poor air quality. The city’s waste management strategies are another major threat to the environment. Currently most of the sewage sludge from treatment plants is disposed in landfills – this practice poses a significant risk as it leads to the dispersion of contaminants in water and soil. Alternatively, sludge is incinerated using fossil fuels to help the burn, which further degrades air quality.

At the Tianjin Haihe Friendship Award ceremony Östen Ekengren took the opportunity to present a Swedish method for the conversion of sludge and organic waste into biogas ­– a solution that can help improve the ambient environment, unlocking energy resources in the form of eco-friendly renewable fuel while simultaneously disposing of waste.

A Swedish consortium comprising IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Scania, Xylem Water Solutions and the Malmberg cleantech company, has developed a proposal for how cities like Tianjin can introduce sustainable transport solutions. Sweden offers a solution that encompasses the entire chain, from choice of substrate, optimization of biogas production and upgrading, to the introduction of modern biogas buses.

– Using the right technology, treatment plants will not only be able to produce reusable water but also to generate an energy surplus, comprised of both biogas and nutrients, says Östen Ekengren.

The biogas produced in this way can then be used to power city buses. This solution, which significantly improves the air quality of the city, appeals to Tianjin, and a demonstration project for the 50 buses that will be powered by locally produced biogas has the support of the city's mayor. IVL is participating in the feasibility study that is currently underway.

Östen Ekengren Tel. +46-10 788 65 43 E-mail: osten.ekengren@ivl.se