Biogas Upgrading: Technologies and Global Markets (Focus on Europe)

Report Code: EGY089A

Publish Date: Nov 2011

Publisher: BCC Publishing

Category: Energy

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Report Highlights


  • An overview – with a focus on Europe – of biogas upgrading, with discussion of the advantages of biogas compared to other forms of renewable energy, global greenhouse emissions, and the barriers to large-scale biogas plant deployment
  • Analyses of market trends, with data from 2000, 2005 and 2010, estimates for 2011, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2016
  • Coverage of the market by upgrading technology type, including pressure swing adsorption, water scrubbing, membrane technology, cryogenic upgrading, and in situ methane enrichment, with a breakdown of market values by technology type
  • Evaluations of feed sources, including sewage sludge, biowaste, landfill gas, and energy crops
  • Examination of the industry structure, with comprehensive company profiles.



Renewable, sustainable energy generation will be the fastest-growing energy sector over the next two decades.  From 2010 to 2016, the market is projected to rise from $124 billion in 2010 to $217 billion in 2016.  Price volatility, supply concerns, and the environmental aspects of fossil fuels are expected to accelerate the pace of all non-fossil fuel development.

At this writing, the price of oil has hit highs of more than $100 per barrel on the world market, while U.S. drivers are paying nearly $4 per gallon of gasoline.  Renewable domestic energy supplies are seen as a means of overcoming these problems.  Biogas, a clean fuel derived primarily from waste materials, is an important alternative to conventional fossil energy.

This BCC Research report provides an in-depth analysis of the world market for the biogas upgrading equipment used to transform crude biogas from waste materials and energy crops into sustainable energy.  Six types of upgrading systems are reviewed: water scrubbers, pressure swing adsorption systems, physical absorption and chemical absorption units, membrane systems, and units based on cryogenic technology

Four categories of materials are evaluated as feed sources for biomethane production: municipal wastewater (sewage sludge), agricultural wastes and energy crops (manure, agricultural residuals, and purpose-grown crops), biowaste (industrial organic wastes and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste), and landfill gas.  Two different end uses for the gas are also examined, injection to the natural gas grid and transportation fuel.

The biogas production and biogas upgrading markets are far better developed in Europe than in North America, so it is the main focus of this study.  Germany has, by far, the largest number of upgrading plants, most of which feed into the grid.  Sweden ranks second, with the bulk of its facilities purifying biogas for use as vehicle fuel.

So far, North America’s upgrading capacity is primarily based at landfills; little new capacity has been built over the past decade.  Although Asia has the largest number of biogas generating systems, the vast majority of these are small-scale plants that serve single dwellings or small communities.  In the rest of the world, biogas production is at different stages of development; however, gas upgrading is only just emerging.


The need to responsibly dispose of mounting volumes of waste and the requirement to procure sustainable, secure energy supplies are two of the most important issues facing governments and industries around the globe.  The production of energy from a number of waste streams (i.e., municipal and domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, landfills, livestock manure, and agricultural residues) is a process that addresses both of these challenges.

In the current waste-to-energy market, anaerobic digestion offers a sustainable conversion process.  With the addition of a biogas refining step, the waste-derived gas can be used in all applications where conventional natural gas is used.  In this context, it is important to have an overview of the market and the drivers that support adoption of the best strategies by governments responsible for sustainable waste handling and energy supply solutions.  It is also important for industry players and technology developers to understand current as well as future trends in order to strategize their investments.


This study intended to be useful to a broad audience.  Because they stand to see the greatest profit from expansion of the biogas industry, manufacturers and suppliers of biogas upgrading equipment and providers of upgrading technology would likely benefit the most from the data contained in this study.  Companies with plant components, ancillary equipment, and related products also might profit from the information collected here.

These include manufacturers and suppliers of anaerobic digesters and digester technology, biogas distributors, water and power engineering firms, suppliers of power plants and electricity generating equipment, environmental management firms, companies specializing in anaerobic digestion equipment and other water and wastewater treatment equipment, companies developing additives (chemicals, enzymes, etc.) to enhance gas production yields and process efficiencies.

Other beneficiaries of biogas upgrading that might find this study of value are farmers, participants in the food industry, waste processors, transportation sector players, and project developers and investors.


The scope of this report is the global market for biogas upgrading equipment.  Market value and growth is evaluated for six different types of upgrading systems: water scrubbing, pressure swing adsorption, physical absorption, chemical absorption, membrane separation, and cryogenic technology.

The market is broken down by four different feed sources: municipal and domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, landfill gas, and agricultural wastes, a category that includes animal manures and crop residues.  Additionally, the market is examined according to end use, injection into the gas grid and transportation fuel.

A discussion of the market by world region includes overviews of North America, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world, with individual profiles for countries most active in each region.  Present market status, biogas upgrading plant installations, and policies and incentives that support the industry are given for each country.  All market valuations and projections cover the years from 2000 to 2016.

Market figures are based on the revenues derived from equipment sales and are projected in 2011 constant dollars (i.e., inflation is not computed into the projection figures).  The revenue figures are derived from estimated revenues of the key players in a particular year.

A technology overview, a discussion on the structure of the industry, and brief profiles for major participating companies are included.  The machinery used to transform the gas to electricity: reciprocating and other types of gas engines, turbine and microturbines, and fuel cells, is not included in the analysis.


Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study.  A comprehensive literature, patent, and Internet search was undertaken and key industry players were queried.  Research methodology was both quantitative and qualitative.  Growth rates were calculated based on existing and proposed equipment sales during the forecast period.  Key data in the report present an overview of average capital costs for upgrading equipment according to technology and application.  These figures then were multiplied by anticipated biogas recovery capacity additions during the survey period to calculate market size.

Because the actual number of plants varies widely from year to year, the average number of plants per year over each 5-year span (2000 to 2005, 2005 to 2010, and 2011 to 2016) was used to calculate market values.


Information in this report was gleaned from many different sources.  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, annual reports, patent literature, business, scientific, and industry journals, government reports, census information, conference literature, patent documents, online resources, and industry participants have all been researched.


During the past 15 years, Susan Hanft has authored more than 30 market research reports for BCC Research in the fields of alternative energy, membrane technology, water and wastewater treatment, and separations used in food and beverage manufacture, medicine, and biotechnology.


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This report provides informative material of a professional nature.  It does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice, nor should it serve as a corporate, company, or investment policy guide or an endorsement of any given product or company.  The information is intended to be as accurate as possible at the time it was written.  The author assumes no responsibility for any losses or damages that might result because of reliance on this material.

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Table of Contents

All reports provided in PDF format. For shared licensing options (5+ Users), please call a representative at (+1) 781-489-7301 or contact us at
Title/Chapter NamePagesMember Price
Full Report: Biogas Upgrading: Technologies and Global Markets (Focus on Europe)249Free
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION4Free
Chapter- 8: THE EUROPEAN MARKET122Free

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Biogas Upgrading: Technologies and Global Markets (Focus on Europe)
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