Power-to-Gas Hungary Kft. employs a power-to-gas technology based on biological methanation that is unique in the world and was developed by Electrochaea. A proprietary biocatalyst converts low-cost and stranded electricity from renewable energy sources and carbon dioxide into pipeline-grade renewable gas. The core of the system is a selectively evolved microorganism – a methanogenic archaea. The produced biomethane can be stored and directly injected into the existing natural gas grid. The foundations of the technology were established at the University of Chicago. Electrochaea is successfully operating a grid-scale plant with a power consumption of 1 MW in Denmark since April 2016. Further plants in Switzerland and USA are under construction.
Our methanation process
Our competitive advantage lies in the methanation process. We use Electrochaea’s proprietary biocatalyst, which is a selectively evolved – not genetically modified – strain of methanogenic archaea, a single-celled microorganism that has populated Earth for billions of years. These organisms can be found in a broad range of habitats, including some of the most extreme environments on the planet such as volcanic hot springs, salt likes, in addition to that, oceans and soils among others. The strain of archaea used in our power-to-gas process has been adapted for industrial application by Prof. Laurens Mets at the University of Chicago.
Our archaea exhibit several unique properties including high mass conversion efficiency, tolerance to many contaminants typically found in industrial CO2-sources (oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, particulates), high selectivity in methane production, and very fast reaction kinetics, that enable scale up to commercial application. In addition, the organisms are self-replicating and self-maintaining and hence do not require periodic replacement.
Our power-to-gas system design
We pursue energy storage via a two-step power-to-gas system that uses an off-the-shelf electrolyzer to produce hydrogen. This hydrogen is then fed to a separate bioreactor containing the archaea along with carbon dioxide from a biogenic or industrial source.
The organisms are indifferent as to the source of CO2 and can use commonly available sources such as raw biogas from anaerobic digesters, fermentation off-gas from breweries and ethanol plants, and flue gas from combustion processes.
Because of the high selectivity of the archaeas, minimal post-reaction gas treatment is needed before the product gas is injected into the gas grid. Oxygen and heat are by-products from the process and can be sold in a broad range of different markets, either on-site or off-site.