The energy in biogas can be exploited in different ways. For example, it can be used for local heating or remote heating (via district heating networks). Biogas can also be used to generate electricity, thus contributing to an increased proportion of ‘green electricity’ distributed through the grid.



Biogas as a vehicle fuel is the area of application increasing the most rapidly. Biogas that has been purified and upgraded to contain a high proportion of methane may with advantage be used as a vehicle fuel. Methane can also be used as a raw material in various manufacturing processes, with diverse final products such as paints, plastics, furniture, animal feeds and lubricant oils. In addition, the biogas process generates a nutrient-rich digestion residue, that can be used as a fertilizer.

In Sweden, biogas has been produced at municipal wastewater treatment plants since the 1960´s. The primary incentive was to reduce sludge volumes. However, the oil crises of the 1970´s changed attitudes, leading to research and development into biogas techniques and the construction of new plants in order to reduce environmental problems and dependency on oil. The industry was first to act; sugar refineries and pulp mills started to use anaerobic digestion for wastewater purification in the 1970s and 1980s. At this time, several smaller farm-sized plants were also constructed for anaerobic digestion of manure.

During the 1980s, several landfill plants started to collect and utilize biogas produced in their treatment areas, an activity that expanded quickly during the 1990s. Several new biogas plants have been constructed since the mid-1990s to digest the food industry and slaughterhouse wastes, and kitchen wastes from households and restaurants.


Related Best Practices

Fossil free transportation

The regions Småland and Östergötland are pioneering within solutions for fossil free transportation. The regions supply different types of biofules and electric cars for individuals as well as for light and heavy transports.

Biogas Xpose: sustainable biogas production through innovative technologies

BIOGAS XPOSE demonstrates how a region with a high demand for biomethane (BM) can increase the production of BM as a renewable vehicle fuel in an economically and environmentally viable fashion by maximizing regional waste as the resource. The project is reducing the total emissions of carbon dioxide with 334 600 tonnes by sustainable production of BM that replaces fossil fuels in the transportation sector. The project ended in 2018.

With Green Regional Development as a Goal, NSR

Waste collection in fractions, biogas production and biofertilizer production

Gryaab – Works for a cleaner ocean

To stop eutrophication of the sea, Gryaab treats the Gothenburg region waste water. The residue, sewage sludge, is turned into soil, fertilizer and a climate-friendly vehicle fuel.

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