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Synthetic natural gas from excess electricity
Date:1/6/2014

rchers are currently looking for project partners in order to build a methanation plant on a larger scale and use it as a pilot project. At the same time, Borgschulte's team would like to optimise the process even further. The next stage is to use four or more sorption catalysts at the same time. When one is saturated with water, the system automatically jumps to the next "dry" catalyst while the previous one is being "unloaded" again.

One problem with this cyclical method up to now has been sulphur, which is produced in biogas plants together with methane and CO2. Sulphur compounds can cause irreparable damage to the zeolite. The researchers are now working on removing the sulphur from crude biogas so that the zeolite continues to work for as long as possible.

In future, Borgschulte also thinks it is conceivable that new catalyst materials that are more efficient than nickel may be used in combination with the zeolite. These could improve the Sabatier process even further. This would mean that excess renewable electricity was no longer wasted but used as the basis for producing sustainable natural gas.


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Contact: Cornelia Zogg
cornelia.zogg@empa.ch
41-587-654-599
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Source:Eurekalert  

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