Biogas is a reliable source of renewable energy, which, in contrast to photovoltaics and wind energy, is readily controllable. However, the sustainable potential of biogas production in Germany - as well as worldwide - is limited, and for the time being not used optimally by the typical engine based CHP plants. Therefore, within the project BioCORE a process concept with much higher efficiency potential will be validated, also enabling a simple scale-up and commercialization of the technology.
In the BioCORE process Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) are applied, which is exhibit a superior efficiency. By means of a novel system architecture the efficiency of the SOFC system is supposed to rise significantly compared to start-of-the-art concepts, while at the same time allowing reversible operation. This means that also excess electrical energy from wind power and photovoltaics can be transferred into synthetic methane and stored in the existing natural gas grid. Hence, the same system is capable of generating electricity from biogas and acting as a storage for fluctuating renewable electricity, both at very high efficiency. After completion of the project the realization of a pilot plant with economically viable capacity will be addressed.