Converting Excess Electricity Into Hydrogen or Methane - Technology Breakthroughs Shaping the Future of Power-to-Gas

20 Jan, 2016, 06:10 ET from Research and Markets

DUBLIN, January 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/wcwxfh/technology) has announced the addition of the "Technology Breakthroughs Shaping the Future of Power-to-Gas" report to their offering. 

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Power-to-gas is a concept to convert surplus of electricity either from renewable or conventional sources to chemical energy. There are two major processes in power-to-gas electrolysis process and methanation process. From this, there are three types of electrolysis process, namely, alkaline, proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid-oxide electrolysis. Methanation process is mainly of two types - thermocatalytic and biological methanation. Hopes for power to gas is immensely high as a clean method to store excess generated electricity, stabilize the power grid or redirect excess electricity toward other useful applications. With serious R&D efforts all over the world, technology readiness level (TRL) of power-to-gas is expected to speed up, thus establishing a complete system in the near future. 

Key Findings 

- Power-to-gas is a concept to convert surplus of electricity either from renewable or conventional sources to chemical energy. The main purposes of the conversion are to store excess generated electricity, stabilize the power grid, or redirect excess electricity toward other useful applications. 
- There are two major processes in power-to-gas-electrolysis process and methanation process. The electrolysis process is to convert electricity to hydrogen, while the methanation process is a method to produce synthetic methane (by combining hydrogen generated from the electrolysis process with carbon dioxide). 
- There are three types of electrolysis process, namely, alkaline, proton exchange membrane(PEM)and solid-oxide electrolysis. Alkaline and PEM electrolysis processes are already commercialized, but solid-oxide process is still in research and development (R&D) phase. R&D trends for electrolysis is shifting towards building a high-performance and low-cost process by creating advanced electrocatalysts and thermally stable materials at high temperature. 
- The methanation process is mainly of two types - thermocatalytic and biological methanation. Thermocatalytic methanation is already commercialized while biological methanation is still at pilot stage. The major R&D theme for methanation process is to develop a high performance catalyst. 
- Hydrogen or methane produced from electrolysis or methanation process in power-to-gas systems can be converted back to usable power by stationary fuel cells, internal combustion engines or a combined heat power (CHP) system. 
- Overall, power-to-gas systems can be considered to be at a prototype or demonstration stage, mainly because the infrastructure is still not able to cope with energy fluctuations caused by renewable energy sources. 
- A major driver for adoption is a low cost system, where the focus is on a low-cost electrolysis system as X% of the cost of a power-to-gas system comes from the electrolysis process. 
- Europe is the most active region for power-to-gas systems, mainly due to aggressive efforts from the governments in Germany, France and the Netherlands. A few power-to-gas plants exists in Europe (demonstration and commercial scale), with the world's largest power-to-gas power plant in Germany. 
- Efforts in Asia and North America are moderate, as the US seems to be putting in more R&D effort into batteries as a form of energy storage. There are a few demonstration plants across Japan, whereas China will have its first power-to-gas plant in 2017. 
- Ultimately, all the innovations will lead to autarkic (self-sufficient) power-to-gas plants. However, in order for such a plant to be realized, robust integration of self-sufficient processes along the power-to-gas process chain will be necessary. 

This report will touch upon: 

- Technology Snapshot and Trends 
- Innovation Analysis for Electrolysis and Methanation Processes. 
- Region-Wise Adoption 
- Application Landscape 
- Future Outlook & Technology Readiness Level 

Key Topics Covered: 

1. Executive Summary 

2. Technology Landscape 

3. Application Impact & Future Outlook 

4. Key Patents 

5. Key Contact Details 

6. Conclusion 

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/wcwxfh/technology

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