TEMSAN, an electromechanical company affiliated with the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, has developed a prototype for a device capable of transforming animal waste biogas into biomethane, a renewable alternative to natural gas. The process could enable the country to substitute an estimated 10% of its annual natural gas consumption imports.
According to Ali Rıza Öner, head of business development at ITC, a company that handles waste disposal in 13 cities in Turkey, if all animal waste in the country were to be used for the production of biomethane, the output would be equivalent to 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In 2021, Turkey spent about USD 15 billion on some 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Öner explained that the animal waste biogas being produced in existing waste incineration plants needs to be converted into biomethane, by increasing its methane content, in order to be injected into the natural gas network. Methane’s biogas content is 55%, compared with 95% in natural gas, he noted.
“Biomethane is a trend in Europe and the US. Electricity generation from biomethane can be an alternative for biogas power plants that are expired or about to expire”, Öner added.
In 2021, Turkey continued with a significant expansion in the electricity generation capacity using renewable sources. In the biogas segment, the capacity was increased from 762 MW to 1 GW.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality produced 844 GWh of power from waste incinerators and landfill gas in 2021. This was enough to cover the electricity needs of 1.2 million people, with the set goal to grow to 2 million people in 2022 as the capacity has been expanded.
Additionally, in an effort to move towards cleaner resources and become less dependent on imported energy, Turkey has been increasing the use of hydrogen in various sectors. Last year, the SHURA Energy Transition Center said Turkey could produce as much as 1.6 million tons of green hydrogen a year, substituting 5% of total final energy consumption.