Synthetic natural gas from hydrogen is the goal of a new investment by Baker Hughes; the company announced this Monday an investment in Electrochaea, a growth stage company developing novel proprietary bio-methanation technology.
Firstly, through the investment Baker Hughes will strengthen its carbon capture and utilization portfolio; particularly, to provide an integrated solutions for customers in the CO2 value chain. This would enable the production of low carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG), from captured CO2 and green hydrogen.
Secondly, the Electrochaea bio-methanation process is an accessible, highly-efficient, and also, scalable. Consequently, through the investment, both companies will accelerate and scale up the deployment of this technology; to commercialize an innovative and integrated carbon capture and utilization solution.
Thirdly, once deployed, this technology would allow customers to transform CO2 emissions into clean synthetic natural gas. To achieve that, Baker Hughes will draw form its existing CCU portfolio to integrate with Electrochaea’s technology.
Moreover, Rod Christie, executive VP of Turbomachinery & Process at Baker Hughes, said. “The combination of these technologies provides an integrated method to decarbonize hard to abate sectors such as road transportation and heating.”
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Synthetic Natural Gas, useful for hard-to-decarbonize industries
He also remarked. “This agreement is another deliberate step in our strategy to position Baker Hughes for new energy frontiers like CCU; by investing in emerging technologies and combining them with our own proven capabilities.”
On the other hand, Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea, said. “Delivering SNG at grid scale would be a remarkable development for energy consumers. With our combined solution customers could potentially deploy large scale plants to reduce the carbon impact of existing gas infrastructure. We look forward to working with Baker Hughes to scale up this promising new solution.”
Furthermore, SNG is methane that originates from a synthesis process that starts from carbon and hydrogen feedstock. Compared to renewable natural gas (RNG) and bio-methane, SNG re-utilizes CO2 that would be otherwise emitted into the atmosphere; therefore, it contributes significantly to mitigate GHG gases.
Finally, Electrochaea produces SNG from green hydrogen and CO2 coming from biogas, fermentation off-gas or captured; and it can be useful for low-carbon heating, transport and industrial applications. In addition, once SNG is injected into existing natural gas pipelines, it can be used as a form of energy storage.