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Wenzel, Yde and Ashraf receive SDU Innovation Prize 2022

A trio of researchers from the Department of Green Technology receives the SDU Innovation Prize 2022 for developing a unique technology that turns CO2 into green gas.

Professor Henrik Wenzel, special advisor Lars Yde and assistant professor Muhammad Tahir Ashraf from the Department of Green Technology were honoured with the SDU Innovation Prize 2022 at the university's annual celebration today. 

The trio receives the recognition for having developed a new bioreactor technology together with the companies Nature Energy A/S, Biogasclean A/S and a research group at DTU. The technology is a highly efficient and low-cost for the production of methane from CO2 and hydrogen. In short, they turn CO2 into green gas. The technology is currently the cheapest PtX (Power to X) technology of all and it is expected that from 2025 PtX gas can be produced at half the price of natural gas.

Unique technology

In collaboration with Nature Energy and Biogasclean, the researchers have developed a trickling filter that converts excess CO2 from biogas plants into green gas. You may be familiar with a trickling filter if you have your own garden pond, but it's also a well-known technique used by the country's water companies and wastewater treatment plants. It is a biological filter that is not only less energy-intensive, but also more efficient and environmentally friendly than other known methods of converting CO2 into green gas.

Prospects extend beyond the country's borders

The technology has far-reaching prospects, as it can be implemented in all biogas plants and in connection with all CO2 sources, regardless of their origin. For an additional investment of only 5-10 percent in biogas plants, methane production can be increased by 67%. 

Full-scale plants are planned to be established at Nature Energy's biogas plant near Sønderborg in 2022 with production starting in 2022 or 2023 and at all their Danish plants within a few years. When fully implemented, the technology could increase Danish biogas production by up to 70 PJ/year. By comparison, Danish consumption of natural gas in 2020 was 87 PJ, which represented 13% of total Danish energy consumption. [Source: Statistics Denmark]

The new technology for upgrading biogas will make a decisive contribution to making Denmark independent of imported gas, while the export potential is enormous.

The Faculty of Engineering at SDU congratulates you! 
Editing was completed: 28.10.2022