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Project Summary


The conformity assessment of biomethane requires further standardisation in order to support Europe’s green energy future. The overall EU target for Renewable Energy Sources consumption by 2030 has been raised to 32 % in the RED II directive [Directive (EU) 2018/2001, 2018]. This project will deliver accessible traceability to the stakeholder community by developing efficient and cost-effective methods for the preparation of traceable gas transfer standards for the performance evaluation of biomethane monitoring systems. Using these, a robust performance assessment protocol will be developed and validated in order to benchmark and characterise analytical systems (e.g. gas analysers). The outputs, including trial applications, will be directly fed into standardisation development. This project will bridge the gap between previously developed primary standards and the industry’s need for accessible, traceable performance evaluation against a validated protocol.

Work packages

biomet.pngWP1: Development of gas transfer standards for use in the SI-traceable performance evaluation of the measurement systems that are used for biomethane conformity assessment

The aim of this work package is to provide accessible metrological traceability for the performance evaluation of the measurement systems that are used for biomethane conformity assessment. Although reference standards have been previously developed in EMRP JRP ENG54 Biogas and EMPIR JRP 16ENG05 Biomethane, the high cost and non-portable nature of certain reference standards (specifically for trace level measurements of reactive gases) acts as a barrier to widespread implementation. Therefore, cost-effective and portable transfer standards are required in order to provide the required level of coverage for the industrial implementation of EN 16723. This work package will address this need by researching the production of at least 5 novel standards (static and dynamic) containing the multiple impurities, which are typically found in biomethane, so that accessibility to traceable measurements against EN 16723 can be improved, particularly for locations in the field with logistical limitations. One of the ultimate aims is to be able to use the standards in the field right next to where the biomethane sample has been taken.

For more information please contact WP1 leader: Lucy Culleton, email:

WP2: Protocol for use in the SI-traceable performance evaluation of the measurement systems that are used for biomethane conformity assessment

The aim of this work package is to develop a comprehensive protocol providing guidance on how to assess the performance of, and on how to validate, the methods and analytical instruments used in the conformity assessment of biomethane as required by e.g. ISO/IEC 17025 §7.2. Such a protocol needs to be developed to ensure that the implemented methods generate accurate, reproducible and SI-traceable measurements. A similar approach already exists for other fuels, such as hydrogen, in the standard, ISO 21087, which contains a validation protocol, a list of suitable analytical techniques that are used to measure each impurity in hydrogen and recommendations for keeping the integrity of the sample.

For more information please contact WP2 leader:  Karine Arrhenius, email:

WP3: Performance evaluation of the industrial analysers and reference instrumentation that are used for biomethane conformity assessment

The aim of this work package is to evaluate the performance of the industrial analysers and reference instrumentation that are used for biomethane conformity assessment, employing the performance assessment protocol from WP2 and the gas standards and gas transfer standards from WP1. The industrial and reference instrumentation that are currently used for laboratory and field-based biomethane measurements will be evaluated.

For more information please contact WP3 leader:  Javis Nwaboh, email:

WP4: Creating impact

Dissemination and communication of project activities and impact by creating a stakeholder committee, project website, conference presentations, peer-reviewed journal papers, articles in trade journals and magazines.

For more information please contact WP4 leader:  Jianrong Li, email:



The overall objective of this project is to support the development of standardisation and to provide the traceability, reliability and characterisation necessary for the conformity assessment of biomethane.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  1. To develop and validate methods for the static and dynamic preparation of gas transfer standards containing different groups of impurities. These should be suitable for use in the SI-traceable validation and performance evaluation of current and future analytical instruments and methods that are used in the conformity assessment of biomethane in accordance with EN 16723. In addition, this should include determining the key metrological parameters of each method. Uncertainties of 1 % - 10 % are targeted for EN 16723 limit values.
  2. To develop a comprehensive protocol for the validation and performance evaluation of the analytical instruments and methods that are used in the conformity assessment of biomethane (applicable to both current and future methods). The validated and implemented methods should be able to generate reproducible and SI-traceable measurement results and a NWIP and draft ISO text should be submitted to ISO.
  3. To use the protocol, developed in objective 2, to evaluate the performance of commercially available industrial gas analysers, based on e.g. spectroscopy or gas chromatography, which are used for laboratory and field-based biomethane (test) measurements. The protocol should also be used to evaluate all relevant measurement methods. A review will be undertaken to evaluate its effectiveness and reproducibility across a wide variety of methods and compounds.
  4. To maintain constant contact with the EMN for Energy Gases and collaborate with the technical committee ISO/TC193/SC1/WG25 “Biomethane” and the users of the standards they develop to ensure that the outputs of the project are aligned with their needs and are incorporated into future standards at the earliest opportunity and that user training and knowledge transfer is maximised throughout the project. This will include, in particular, the protocol developed in objective 2.

Outcomes and impacts

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.






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Contact information

Coordinator: Karine Arrhenius, RISE -

WP1 Lead: Lucy Cullenton, NPL -

WP2 Lead: Karine Arrhenius, RISE -

WP3 Lead: Javis Nwaboh, PTB -

WP4 Lead: Jianrong Li, VSL -

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