Electrochaea

Solution Statement

In the context of climate change and on the way to the net-zero goal renewable electricity generation is a key factor. Another cornerstone is the decarbonization of fossil based natural gas – the biggest energy import product into the EU today. Renewable methane from our patented bio-methanation process is a natural gas equivalent. It can be utilized as a fully biogenic e-fuel that can be stored and transported in the gas grid and then used across sectors, for transportation, power generation or industrial heating.

Electrochaea is the only company worldwide to have validated a biological methanation technology in industrial prototypes by turning renewable energy into hydrogen at first, and then into bio-methane and storing it in existing gas networks. Our highly productive, patented microorganism strain, combined with our proprietary pressure bioreactor design, makes the process outstandingly efficient. It has the potential to solve the challenges of providing cost-effective large-scale energy storage and a multi-purpose e-fuel, all triggered by green hydrogen generation. The technology has been validated in several industrial settings at the 1MWe scale where grid-quality bio-methane was produced in a continuous 

process. The technology is fully scalable up to 50MWe or multiples of that. 

Electrochaea can make a major contribution to the decarbonization of industry and the utilization of curtailed renewable energy. The Electrochaea process converts green hydrogen and CO2, using curtailed power that would otherwise be wasted, to renewable methane. The technology has a potential of converting 0.8% of annual CO2 released in the EU by 2050. The Electrochaea technology can be the first large scale market for the green hydrogen value chain. 

Challenge Statement

The main challenge that Electrochaea meets nowadays is a weak and uncertain regulatory framework. A plant typically interconnects two energy systems – electricity and gas – both of which are highly regulated. The current state of legislation brings a lot of unclarity and not enough incentives to roll out the technology. High electricity costs make the production of green hydrogen needed for production of green methane expensive. At the same time, the cost of the fossil natural gas remains low compared with green methane. Incentives for green methane remain insufficient and uncertain in a long-term perspective to ensure the needed investments. This makes it difficult to attract sufficient investment for bio-methane projects. 

Green hydrogen production needs to be affordable to become a major trigger for the generation of green methane and other renewable products. Green methane generation provides a solution to store energy long term and in large scale in existing infrastructure. A need to integrate such systems with the electricity system and the gas system are required and double taxation of the products needs to be avoided. 

Energy Compact Description

Electrochaea will make its unique biological methanation accessible and scalable worldwide. 

It’s the ambition to facilitate establishment biological methanation plants that by 2030 will capture 10 million ton of CO2 and use 12 GW renewable power to convert the CO2 into 8 GW renewable e-methane.

The loss of energy in the process will be diminished by utilizing the excess heat for district heating or industrial usage. 

By further engaging in research and development projects Electrochaea will ensure scaling of the technology and conversion of the green e-methane to other products, e.g. plastic, protein or lubricants. 

Electrochaea will make the technology accessible in developing countries after 2025 when commercial project in Europe and North America has been established. 

Energy Compact Indicators

  • By 2025: Successful realization of first commercial projects resulting in construction of 15 plants by 2025 with the total capacity of 1.200 MW converting 1 million ton of CO2 
  • By 2030: Scaling of the technology and construct numerous biological methanation plants with a capacity of 10 GW converting annually 10 million ton of CO2 
  • By 2025: Establish 1-5 biological methanation projects in developing countries through cooperation with international development agencies and development banks 

“Establish support schemes for Power-2-x technologies and/or CO2 tax that makes it feasible to attract investments to full scale commercial projects and ensure that regulatory framework for power and gas infrastructure makes sector and grid integration feasible