What is the difference between carbon dioxide remediation and removal in biogas? Both are processes that change the raw biogas to another useful form, but there is a distinction. Carbon dioxide removal is a form of remediation, but it is a more sophisticated and costly step in the “cleanup” of biogas. Normally, the reason to remove the carbon dioxide is to prepare it for injection to a pipeline, or prepare it for vehicle use, like in trucks, buses, or taxi’s, that are converting to burn the pure methane. This process includes membrane separation, pressure swing absorption (PSA), and chemical scrubbing. On the other hand, basic remediation involves contaminate removal, as in fixed media vessels to remove the hydrogen sulfide and siloxanes. Post treatment from these processes is usually chilling and re-heating to remove the moisture.
While most processes that remove the carbon dioxide certainly do affect the other contaminates, this is not necessarily to the level required for pipeline injection. Each end use has its own limitations on what is combined with the methane, even including moisture.
A general rule of thumb would be that biogas remediation is typically far less costly than also removing the carbon dioxide. In fact, many of the turbine companies and engine companies prefer the carbon dioxide to be in its fuel, as their units run at a lower temperature than on pure methane, thus less higher temperature issues. Remediation versus removal is a decision for experts based on many factors.
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