Flexible Methane Production from Electricity and Bio-mass
Interlinkage of the power and gas grids is planned to make electricity supply sustainable and robust in the future. Fluctuating amounts of wind and solar power, for instance, might be stored in the form of the chemical energy carrier methane. Researchers of the KIT and DVGW have now proved that this element of the Energiewende is technically feasible. The DemoSNG pilot plant constructed by the KIT will be used in Sweden for the reliable and efficient production of methane from biomass-based carbon dioxide and variable amounts of hydrogen from green power.
“The variable operation modes were the biggest challenge during development,” says Project Head Siegfried Bajohr of the Engler-Bunte Institute (EBI) of KIT. From the products of a biomass gasification plant, i.e. hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide, the DemoSNG pilot plant directly produces methane and water by means of a nickel catalyst (SNG operation). If green power is available, it is used for electrolysis and the production of additional hydrogen. Then, the volume flow in the plant can be doubled, utilization of carbon from biomass will increase to nearly 100%, and a large amount of usable waste heat will be produced by the catalyst (PtG operation).
Image credit: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Press Release