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Methanization and cogeneration

One of the goals of Ecoparc de Barcelona is to use organic matter from selective collection for the production of biogas through the methanization process.

Prior to methanization, organic matter separated during pretreatment is subjected to wet treatment. It is introduced into three agitator tanks, or pulpers, where it gets mixed up and disintegrates in water. In addition to diluting it, the movement of the tanks causes sand and pieces of inert glass to settle and floating plastic still mixed in with the organic matter to emerge.

The resulting pulp is carried to the interior of the digesters, 4 tanks with a capacity of 6,700 m3. The digesters act as anaerobic fermentation reactors and, at a temperature of 37 ºC, prevent the pulp from coming into contact with oxygen for 20 days.

During this time, anaerobic fermentation releases biogas, a combination of methane and carbon dioxide, which can be used as renewable fuel in the generation of electricity and heat.
Biogas is directed into a gasholder, which stores the gas and regulates outflow volume. The gas is kept at a pressure equivalent to atmospheric pressure (20 mb).

Biogas is then sent from the gasholder to the cogeneration station, which is equipped with five 20-cylinder Jenbacher engines with a total power capacity of 5.24 MW.

The combustion of biogas produces electricity, which is exported to the mains, and heat, which is used to keep the temperature of the digesters stable at 37 ºC.

Every year, Ecoparc de Barcelona generates an average of 13,000 MWh, the equivalent of the annual electrical consumption of 3,000 families. This electricity, coming from a renewable energy source, offsets the atmospheric emission of 4,536 tonnes of CO2, according to Ministry of the Environment sources.



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