The methane produced by this process — made using waste CO2 and renewably sourced hydrogen — could offer an alternative for utilities and consumers looking for natural gas with a renewable component and a lower carbon footprint. — PNNL chemist Jotheeswari Kothandaraman
The methane produced by this process — made using waste CO2 and renewably sourced hydrogen — could offer an alternative for utilities and consumers looking for natural gas with a renewable component and a lower carbon footprint. — PNNL chemist Jotheeswari Kothandaraman
Making methane from CO2: Carbon capture grows more affordable
Researchers can make methane from captured CO2 and renewably sourced hydrogen, offering a path toward cheaper synthetic natural gas.

By streamlining a longstanding process in which CO2 is converted to methane, the researchers' new method reduces the materials needed to run the reaction, the energy needed to fuel it and, ultimately, the selling price of the gas.

A key chemical player known as EEMPA makes the process possible. EEMPA is a PNNL-developed solvent that snatches CO2 from power plant flue gas, binding the greenhouse gas so it can be converted into useful chemicals.

... When compared to the conventional method of methane conversion, the new process requires an initial investment that costs 32 percent less. Operation and maintenance costs are 35 percent cheaper, bringing the selling price of synthetic natural gas down by 12 percent.

Different methods for converting CO2 into methane have long been known. However, most processes rely on high temperatures and are often too expensive for widespread commercial use.

In addition to geologic production, methane can be produced from renewable or recycled CO2 sources, and can be used as fuel itself or as an H2 energy carrier. Though it is a greenhouse gas and requires careful supply chain management, methane has many applications, ranging from household use to industrial processes, said lead author and PNNL chemist Jotheeswari Kothandaraman.

"Right now a large fraction of the natural gas used in the U.S. has to be pumped out of the ground," said Kothandaraman, "and demand is expected to increase over time, even under climate change mitigation pathways. The methane produced by this process -- made using waste CO2 and renewably sourced hydrogen -- could offer an alternative for utilities and consumers looking for natural gas with a renewable component and a lower carbon footprint."
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210903095311.htm