MAN Engines

Biogas as a bridge to hydrogen

Biogas plant behind rapeseed field
In focus:

Clean energy from biogas or sewage sludge: gas engines from MAN Engines turn cogeneration units into climate protectors.

Cogeneration unit converts sewage sludge into renewable energy

An ideal solution: biomass power plants convert waste or sewage sludge into climate-friendly energy.

Cogeneration units are known for their high efficiency, as thanks to combined heat and power (CHP), they use 80 to 90 percent of the energy in the fuel. Their environmental impact level is even better if they are operated with biogas or sewage gas because then they are not only highly energy efficient, but also climate friendly. Another advantage in terms of sustainability is that if only waste materials are used for biogas cogeneration units, they do not represent competition for food cultivation.

They can also play a key role in ensuring a reliable power supply as part of the energy transition as small plants with outputs between 30 kilowatts (kW) and 3 megawatts (MW) can be installed locally and used to supply microgrids, making the construction of overhead lines unnecessary and the power grid more resilient and efficient. Since they can be regulated so well, cogeneration units are good backups for volatile energy sources such as wind or sun, and their flexible operation means they can contribute to load balancing and therefore increase the resilience of the power grids. In short, for companies with gas from agricultural waste – especially liquid manure – or sewage sludge, cogeneration units are the ideal solution for a decentralised energy supply based on renewable energies. A growing number of dairies, farmers, municipalities and operator communities are therefore relying on this concept, which has been in use for over 20 years and is based on tried-and-tested technology. As a result, in 2022, 50.2 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity were generated from biomass in Germany alone.

In the EU, MAN Engines is the market leader in the power range between 68 and 735 kW for biogas engines used in cogeneration units. A special feature of the products is that they are specifically designed for gas applications and extensively field tested, while other manufacturers often simply modify existing diesel engines to run on the new fuel. Gas engines from MAN Engines also cover different gas variants – this currently includes natural gas and special gases such as biogas, landfill gas and sewage gas, and in future will also include hydrogen. This also makes it an essential bridging technology on the path toward the future hydrogen economy.

Gas engine from MAN Engines for cogeneration units

Optimised technology: gas engines from MAN Engines have been specially developed and extensively tested for cogeneration units.

Biomass cogeneration unit: highly efficient and with low CO2 emissions

Lower CO2 emissions with efficient cogeneration units with biogas

© Bundesverband Kraft-Wärme-Kopplung [federal cogeneration association].

Gas engines from MAN Engines are impressive thanks to their outstanding levels of efficiency, which make a significant contribution to the low TCO (total cost of ownership). The reconditioned units that MAN offers under the ecoline brand are an economical and resource-saving alternative to buying a new gas engine. That is why numerous cogeneration unit operators already rely on the combination of biogas or sewage gas and gas engines from MAN Engines, with more than 20,000 units with installed capacities between 40 and 550 kW in operation throughout Germany alone. As a decentralised source of energy directly on site, MAN biogas engines have made the construction of numerous overhead lines unnecessary – and turned waste into a valuable raw material for a sustainable energy supply.

Electricity generated from biomass

Header image: © Adobe Stock/ShDrohnenFly