Outcomes for industrial and other user communities
By gaining an insight into the user communities measurement needs, the project’s outcomes will enable fit-for-purpose biomethane conformity assessment measurement services to be provided to industries, testing laboratories, research organisations and other end-users. Such services will include: a) calibration gas mixtures b) calibration and measurement facilities and services c) performance evaluation of gas analysers; d) direct characterisation of biomethane quality in the field; e) proficiency testing; f) consultancy and g) training. Use of the good practice guide produced by the project will allow end users to have an accessible format to refer to for use with biomethane conformity testing, thus allowing the project’s outcomes to be shared. Accreditation can be sought against e.g. ISO 17025.
Instrument (e.g. gas analysers) and sensor manufacturers will receive access to a performance assessment protocol which they can use to benchmark their products and use during the product development process as a means of quality control. Their customers will be able to utilise the performance assessment protocol for their own quality control checks when e.g. developing and characterising methods.
Biomethane producers will be able to use the performance assessment protocol in combination with transfer standards and training material outputs to repeatably and accurately quantify analyser performance, which will reduce the opportunity for measurement bias and improve the efficiency of biomethane production. This will ensure that they meet the quality assurance requirements of e.g. national regulations.
As outlined above, it is anticipated that a major outcome of this project will be the widespread uptake and use of the biomethane performance assessment protocol for biomethane conformity assessment throughout Europe and globally. Another outcome will be the increase in new industrial products and services for biomethane quality monitoring using the new solutions developed in this project (e.g. traceably validated industrial biomethane measurement systems as validated within this project).
Outcomes for the metrology and scientific communities
Laboratories, research organisations and academia will be able to use the state-of-the-art gas transfer standards and the performance assessment protocol developed within this project to perform further research within the biomethane purity area to support the development of new biomethane measurement technologies. Using the outcomes from this project, their performance will be able to be traceably quantified to the SI.
Metrology institutes will have new capability in the form of gas transfer standards and a performance assessment protocol by which to evaluate further techniques and methods they wish to develop within the biomethane area for research and delivery of measurement services to industry. This knowledge will be transferred from the experienced to the less experienced metrology institutes.
Outcomes for relevant standards
The project’s outputs will provide direct input to ISO/TC193/SC1/WG25 “Biomethane” by providing them with a validated protocol for the sampling, analysis and performance evaluation of gas analysers. The results of the performance evaluation of the industrial gas analysers will give a realistic overview of (industrial) measurement capabilities, which will allow standards to be tailored to the real needs of industry and it will promote their widespread uptake. The protocol and method developed for the performance evaluation of gas analysers will be submitted to ISO/TC193/SC1/WG25 for consideration as a new ISO standard (in the form of a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) and draft ISO standard text). The results obtained from the project will also be disseminated to CEN to enable it to update EN 16723 under its mandate M/475.
The project will also provide input to the activities of other committees, such as ISO/TC158, CEN/TC408, BIPM CCQM Gas Analysis Working Group (GAWG), EURAMET/Metchem SC-GAS, and national working groups and mirror committees.
Longer-term economic, social and environmental impacts
In the longer term, the project’s outputs will enable fit-for-purpose services to be provided to industries, testing laboratories, research organisations and other end-users. End users will be able to verify the performance of their measurement equipment with a validated protocol using the developed gas transfer standards. The need for fewer gas transfer standards will significantly lower the cost of biomethane conformity assessment, making biomethane production cost-effective for small producers. These service receivers will be able to undertake e.g. SI-traceable calibrations of equipment and the calibration of gas mixtures, to improve the quality of their measurement results, and they will be able to use traceable and cost-effective gas transfer standards for measuring impurities in biogas and biomethane.
The accurate measurement of trace-level toxic impurities in biomethane will, in the longer term, ensure that regulations limiting the contents of these compounds to safe (non-toxic) levels can be enforced robustly.
This project will accelerate the increased use of biomethane and upgraded biogas and it will enrich the European natural gas supply chains. Therefore, it will also help to reduce Europe's dependence on natural gas imports and it will promote the realisation of the EU target on Renewable Energy.
Increased use of biomethane will help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reliance on fossil fuels, as biomethane is produced from renewable sources, such as organic waste, landfills, pulp sludge or manure. Its use in road vehicles will significantly limit harmful emissions. This project will assist the EU in moving towards solving the major global problem of decarbonisation.