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WaStraK NRW - Hydrogen Technology in Wastewater Disposal

Methanol Synthesis from Biogas

The increased use of renewable energies and the reduction of energy consumption are essential components of the climate protection goals for the development of a sustainable energy supply. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can also make a contribution by using the renewable energy source biogas more efficiently. In this context, the optimisation of the heat management of WWTPs should be considered. In times of energy surpluses in the electricity grid or minimal summer heat demand, a different path of biogas utilisation could be adopted. This may consist of converting biogas through methanol synthesis into an energy source with higher energy density, easy storage and mobile utilisation.

The R&D project "WaStraK", funded by the State of NRW, comprised the detailed planning, authorisation phase, implementation, testing and scientific examination of a semi-technical pilot plant, in which the methanol synthesis from biogas was tested for the first time in a continuous process. During the implementation, intensive testing and coordination of the individual process stages took place. This included modifications of individual devices, the adjustment of the temperature control and the installation of adapted devices. In particular, the interaction of the aggregates and the plausibility check of the measurement results and process parameters required an intensive examination of the installed plant components.

During research operation, the operating parameters of the WaStraK pilot plant were systematically varied over a period of 15 months to determine the settings for the highest achievable methanol yield. This included test series to determine a suitable gas quality from the reformer and the productivity of the methanol synthesis itself.


Further optimisation measures could be developed from the findings in the regular trial operation. These take into account both the operation and the applicability of methanol synthesis at WWTPs. They can be divided into technical, operational and organisational measures that are relevant for an optimised test plant as well as for a large-scale plant. Within the framework of a planned follow-up project, these optimisation measures are to be implemented in order to further develop the conversion of the gases used, the product yield and the heat management of the existing pilot plant. Afterwards a scale-up of the plant is planned.


Dr.-Ing. Kristoffer Ooms
+49 241 80 2 68 22 / E-Mail

Dr.-Ing. Henry Riße
+49 241 80 2 68 18 / E-Mail

Dipl.-Ing. Alejandra Lenis
+49 241 80 2 68 42 / E-Mail


Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia (MULNV NRW); North Rhine-Westphalia State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection


Tuttahs & Meyer Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH; Emschergenossenschaft; Ingenieurbüro Redlich und Partner GmbH


Project flyer (DE)

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