Special Feature 2: Contributing to the Development of Methanation Technologies for Low-Carbonization and Decarbonization of City Gas Materials
Technology that Contributes to the SDGs
In the city gas industry, we are focusing on technical innovation related to methanation, as part of our endeavors targeting the low-carbonization and decarbonization of city gas materials.
Methanation technology is a carbon recycling technology that uses hydrogen and CO2 as the raw materials to generate methane, a primary component of city gas. By using the methane generated with this technology as a primary component of city gas, we can utilize the existing city gas infrastructure and equipment on the consumer side, enabling us to decarbonize city gas itself while reducing the social cost. Therefore, this technology is expected to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Innovation by the Daigas Group
Osaka Gas will work with the Japan Gas Association to contribute to the development of methanation. As one aspect of these efforts, the “SOEC co-electrolysis and methanation reaction technology” was selected as a project for “pioneering research into technologies for the effective utilization of CO2 (direct resolution of CO2)” by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national research and development agency (FY2020-2021). Thus, we are engaging in basic research together with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, a national research and development agency.
Here, we are using a technology called SOEC*1 to generate hydrogen and CO through electrolysis (co-electrolysis*2) of CO2 and steam with power from renewable energy, etc. We then synthesize methane with a methanation reaction.*3 This technology is characterized by its extremely high energy conversion efficiency because the power required for the co-electrolysis is reduced by effectively utilizing the heat, etc. generated from the methanation reaction.
At present, we are still at the basic research stage, but we are continuing our efforts in this area with the aim of decarbonizing city gas materials in the future, utilizing the core technical expertise developed by the Company in relation to fuel cells and catalysts.
- *1 Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell: A device with the opposite function to an SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell).
- *2 Co-electrolysis reaction formula: CO2 + 3H2O (+ electric power) → CO + 3H2 (+ 2O2) (endothermic reaction)
- *3 Methanation reaction formula: CO + 3H2 → CH4 + H2O (exothermic reaction)
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