An intermittent storage solution aimed at suppressing flaring in biomethane production sites during low demand periods.
TypeStartup or self-employed
Headquarters92270 Bois-Colombes, France
Azola is an innovative solution based on a patented process that aims to store the surplus production from biomethane injection plants under liquid form during periods of low demand. Azola allows biomethane producers to store up to 12 000 Nm3 of biomethane under liquid form, for a later re-injection in the grid.
In fact, when congestion occurs in the natural gas distribution network during the weekends, summer, or when a producer reaches his maximum contractual injection rate, or during maintenance work, biomethane is flared in order to ramp down the pressure levels within the distribution grid, or to avoid penalties due to excess production.
With Azola, small to medium sized producers (up to 500 Nm3), are given the opportunity to temporarily store the biomethane that is today being flared, and reinject it when the distribution pipe pressure permits it.
Under the assumption that the average methanization unit operates around 8200 hours per year, this would leave a potential gap of about 565 hour per year down time, divided between periods of low demand and/or maintenance/ plant unavailability.
For a common small-scale agricultural methanization unit in Frane (around 100 Nm3/h injection capacity) this represents a loss of about 56,500 Nm3/year of biomethane, or over 90 m3 of BioLNG. This translates to a €54,000/year loss of income, or about 5% of an average methanization plant turnover.
For such plants, the intermittent storage solution provided by Azola, could lower the GHG emissions and avoid the release into the atmosphere of about 110 tonnes of CO2-eq per year*
On the other hand, the GRID solution of AZOLA, aims to provide flexibility to the natural gas distribution network, by automatically storing gas under liquid form as soon as a preset maximum operating pressure is reached. The unit starts re-injecting the stored gas on the same part of the grid once congestion phase is gone, or elsewhere through deported injection. The GRID unit is made of transportable skids that may then be easily disconnected and displaced from one part of the network to another depending on the operational needs.
AZOLA Producer Unit:
• Project Epaux Bezu: Demonstrator plant tested from 2017 to 2019.
The project successfully tested a liquefaction rate of up to 250 Nm3/h of biomethane, with a storage capacity of 10 Nm3 of bioGNL.
• Project Plainval: Currently under final engineering phase, the plant is set to start operating on September 2020 with a liquefaction capacity of 250 Nm3/h of biomethane, and a storage capacity of 20 Nm3 of bioGNL.
AZOLA Grid Unit:
• Project Flores: a pilot project is set to start operations on November 2020 in partnership with GrDF. The plant will be testing our first polishing module designed to treat fossil gas, and test the intermittent storage solution as a localized flexibility tool that aims to accomodate more biogmethane into the blend, and handle congestion issues at grid edge.
*Assumption is made on a 565 hours per year of down time basis, and where all the biomethane produced at a rate of 100 Nm3/h undergoes a complete combustion where 1 mol of CH4 produces 1 mol of CO2.
CO2 density under normal conditions: 1,96306 kg/m3.