ITM Power has announced that it has been awarded a grant by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to undertake a £100k, 12-month engineering feasibility study, as part of the £20m Carbon Capture and Storage Innovation competition.
ITM Power is leading a consortium which includes SSE, Scotia Gas Networks, Logan Energy and Kiwa Gastec at CRE (Gastec), in an investigation of the technological, financial and operational feasibility of producing synthetic methane using carbon dioxide from industrial processes and hydrogen produced by electrolysis.
The process will convert waste carbon dioxide and renewable hydrogen to produce pure methane for injection into the gas grid and other natural gas substitution applications.
The potential of the process for managing renewable power curtailment and exploiting onshore wind power assets will also be assessed.
Synthetic natural gas can be produced by a process known as methanation which is the reaction of carbon dioxide with hydrogen.
The carbon dioxide can be sourced from industrial processes including CCS and the hydrogen can be produced from the electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources.
The production of synthetic methane in this way has the potential to make significant contributions to reducing the cost of CCS by creating revenue streams from the sale of methane, while the electrolysis plant offers grid balancing, stabilisation and energy storage services to the electricity industry.
ITM Power CEO Dr Graham Cooley commented: “ITM Power is delighted to be leading this DECC funded feasibility study that will assess how hydrogen produced using renewable energy can be combined with carbon dioxide to produce methane as a direct substitute for natural gas.
“We look forward to working with our industry partners in what could be another key large market for ITM Power’s electrolyser products.”