Biomethane: the advantages of this gas

A gas, many advantages for communities

As part of an energy-efficient and zero-emission pathway, natural gas will be increasingly complemented by the production of biogas and biomethane, which is considered as one of the resources that will contribute most to reducing the current state of air pollution.

The increasing production and subsequent use of biomethane will bring as advantages an acceleration in the processes towards carbon neutrality and circular economy.

Sustainability and circular economy: what they are

Under the umbrella of “sustainability” we find different areas in which sustainability can be declined. In general, we can define sustainability as the condition of development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of subsequent generations to meet their own needs. There are three main areas of sustainability, which, when they intersect, can enable the realisation of full sustainable development: economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability.

The circular economy is strictly connected with sustainability: it is in fact a model of production and consumption in which sharing, reuse, repair, reconditioning and recycling of materials are emphasised. What in the “traditional” economy is considered as waste, here is recovered and reused, thus reducing waste and enhancing the specificities and potential of the territory.

Why biomethane is a sustainable gas

Biomethane is a sustainable gas produced through the digestion of organic material biomass, mainly by-products and waste from agricultural or industrial processing. The use of raw materials that are considered waste, which when properly processed give rise to biomethane, is a virtuous example of eco-sustainable and circular business.

In several instances, such as when the raw material used is an agricultural waste, the processing to obtain biomethane also produces a different by-product called digestate. This substance is co-produced by anaerobic digestion and does not depend on the biomass used: for example, waste digestion also produces digestate. This by-product can be used as an agricultural fertiliser, avoiding the use of chemical products and with a view to complete circularity of the raw material processing cycle.


Unlike other renewables, biomethane requires limited investment in terms of infrastructure. Moreover, regarding emissions, it is considered to be neutral as it is produced via the digestion of biomass from by-products, industrial processing waste and organic material. Specific incentives promoted at the European level are making its use economically sustainable, and as a result production and use of this source are being strongly encouraged.
Biogas vs Biomethane

Biogas and biomethane are different substances: biogas is a compound with a methane content of between 50 and 70 per cent, while biomethane is a biogas that has undergone a refining process to reach percentages of 97 per cent or more methane, ready to be injected into the transport and distribution grids.

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PF experience in biomethane

Pietro Fiorentini realises integrated and customised solutions along the entire biomethane chain, including the treatment of raw biogas, the feeding of biomethane into the grid, methane and CO2 liquefaction. Pietro Fiorentini is a member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Biogas Consortium and is founding member of the Biomethane Industrial Partnership.

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