The first steps have been taken in developing a test protocol for biogas technology

The large interest in biogas production has revealed the need for development of a test protocol for biogas technology. The test protocol will be developed by a working group consisting of a number of technical experts from four countries.

Within the European ICT-AGRI network, the VERA Secretariat has launched the development of a test protocol for technologies for biogas production. The launch took place at an introductory workshop in Copenhagen in April hosted by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. Denmark, Germany, Holland and France are participating in the development. A working group consisting of technical experts from the participant countries will develop the test protocol. 
The development of the protocol has come about in order to meet the growing demand of verifying the environmental impact and operational stability of technologies for biogas production as well as the increasing international interest in biogas production. The protocol will help to ensure that the technology lives up to the demands for establishing new plants.

The four participating countries have different starting points for biogas production. In France, for example, building small-scale plants on farms is a relatively new endeavor, whereas it is a common phenomenon in Germany. The difference is in part due to different political incentives for promoting biogas production. The initial phase in developing the protocol focuses on clarifying the scope, e.g. in terms of the types of plants and biomass input. In addition, the possibility of examining the effect of isolated components is investigated, e.g. how different forms of pretreatment can improve the gas yield from the same amount and type of biomass.

The criterion for success for the upcoming test protocol is that technology manufacturers become aware of the value they gain by completing an internationally recognized test, and thereby increasing use. In order to ensure the future development of the test protocol, relevant stakeholders are invited to follow and contribute to the development work.