Wind and solar power generation will continue to grow in the energy supply of the future, but its inherent variability (intermittency) requires appropriate energy systems for storing and using power. Storage of possibly temporary excess of power as methane from hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide is a promising option. With electrolysis hydrogen gas can be generated from (renewable) power. The combination of such hydrogen with carbon dioxide results in the energy carrier methane that can be handled well and may may serve as carbon feedstock of the future. Biogas from biomass delivers both methane and carbon dioxide. Anaerobic microorganisms can make additional methane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide in a biomethanation process that compares favourably with its chemical counterpart. Biomethanation for renewable power storage and use makes appropriate use of the existing infrastructure and knowledge base for natural gas. Addition of hydrogen to a dedicated biogas reactor after fermentation optimizes the biomethanation conditions and gives maximum flexibility. The low water solubility of hydrogen gas limits the methane production rate. The use of hollow fibers, nano-bubbles or better-tailored methane-forming microorganisms may overcome this bottleneck. Analyses of patent applications on biomethanation suggest a lot of freedom to operate. Assessment of biomethanation for economic feasibility and environmental value is extremely challenging and will require future data and experiences. Currently biomethanation is not yet economically feasible, but this may be different in the energy systems of the near future.
|Publisher||Hanze University of Applied Sciences|
|Number of pages||56|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2017|
- energy storage