Eat up CO2 simple on: With ancient bacteria Start to bring-up the energy transition

archaea, it is like uncomfortable. They thrive in hot springs or geysers. Even in boiling water for some feel of them. And they are inconspicuous. Because you c

Eat up CO2 simple on: With ancient bacteria Start to bring-up the energy transition

archaea, it is like uncomfortable. They thrive in hot springs or geysers. Even in boiling water for some feel of them. And they are inconspicuous. Because you can see bacteria confusingly similar to, noticed the science of their existence until the end of the 1970s. The single-celled archaea are considered to be the oldest life form on the planet. Now, your three and a half billion light years away in the shadows might have finally come to an end. Because archaea could make a decisive contribution to making the energy supply sustainable.

it is in any case convinced Doris Hafenbradl. The PhD micro-biologist and technical Director of the Start-up Electrochaea from Planegg near Munich. And you could say that it has closed its archaea in the heart. The do have very special properties. "Our special archaea do nothing more than out of hydrogen and CO2, renewable methane," says Doris Hafenbradl in conversation with 1E9. "You have to do, because that's how you gain your energy."

originally from Island-born archaea, which grows Electrochaea now, eat up so hydrogen and carbon dioxide and produce methane, the main component of natural gas. This is for several reasons convenient.

hydrogen can be extracted by water is decomposed in an electrolysis using electricity into hydrogen and oxygen. Is used of renewable power that would otherwise simply evaporate unused, at least a part of its energy in the hydrogen store. However, it is to store the difficult to transport. This Problem can be solved by being converted to CO2 – of which we have already too much in the atmosphere – methane. The methane can eventually be fed into the already existing natural gas grid, over large distances, as directed, and in caverns, so the subterranean storage caverns, to be permanently stored.

Power to Gas: From excess green electricity, natural gas,

is The method used to turn electricity into natural gas, Power-to-Gas. Or in short: P2G. The technology has some supporters from the business community, the scientific community, but also the policy. They see it as an important contribution to climate protection. Because a Central Problem of the energy transition is not unsolved in practice: Wind and solar power is always when it is needed. To much electricity is produced that is not in demand, there is a risk of Overload of the network.

in Order to prevent the power plants from the grid. Wind turbines stand still, although you could provide a green, climate-friendly electricity. For a remedy, energy storage, ensure that to compensate for the excess green electricity, and for wind, silence, dark days can pick up would. Exactly that would be with Power-to-Gas plants possible. The Gas is to the energy storage device and can later be used for Heating, as fuel or to generate electricity in gas-fired power plants.

"Through Power to Gas can take place in energy generation and energy use at the place and time completely independently of each other," says Doris Hafenbradl. But: In this context, only Elechtrochaea didn't come. Many other companies are also working on P2G-technology, also in Germany. You, however, for the Methanation is not a biological primitive creatures, but to chemical catalysts. However, the vis-ā-vis the archaea are at a clear disadvantage, says at least the Electrochaea technology boss. "We can also use impure CO2 that comes directly from biogas plants, Breweries and the cement industry", she says. Unlike for systems with chemical catalysts, the carbon dioxide should not be treated so. "Our technology is extremely flexible."

While the fluctuations of the green energy could be in the chemical Methanation of the Problem, whether it is the micro-organisms no matter if on some days the Wind is not blowing and therefore, there is no lining in the Form of hydrogen can be obtained. "Our archaea keep the from," says Doris Hafenbradl. "If we feed them, then they make methane. If we don't feed them, then you make no methane. You then simply wait until you are back to hydrogen and CO2 can be fed.“

critics go to a lot of energy is lost

The technology stores energy from green power, it binds CO2 which would otherwise end up in the atmosphere, and delivers Gas that can be transported over an existing infrastructure. Also from the wind parks in Northern Germany to Bavaria. Or of solar power plants in North Africa to Europe. And yet, the Power-to-Gas has critics of the technology. The fault, in particular, that in the whole process lot of energy is lost, mainly in the Form of waste heat.

The cut was out of the race in the case of the many test facilities of different companies so far, about half of the energy before it green Gas is. But: The technology is making progress. The waste heat is used smart, it can be increased the degree of efficiency to 75, maybe even 80 percent. In methane, produced with a kilowatt-hour of green electricity, would put a calorific value of 0.8 kilowatt-hours. Thus, more energy is lost still than when it was stored in a modern battery. But Doris Hafenbradl sees reasons to put on Power to Gas.

"The main difference to battery saving, that we have infinite storage capacity," she says. "In the gas grid, including the caverns of energy for at least three months of total energy consumption in Germany store. That means that I can produce basically as much renewable energy as I would like, and save everything.“

Germany, could be the connection

lose That, none of the three Electrochaea-pilot plant is in Germany, but in Denmark, Switzerland and the USA, has its reason: "In Germany, we can currently build any system, because the current need we – and should be saved – insanely expensive," says the engineering boss. "Although we network are useful, and although we offer a storage option for renewable energy, which would otherwise be easy to get lost, the price we pay, or our customers the full Current – inclusive of all taxes and the EEG-levy. This will make it too expensive to operate such a facility.“

Even the falling cost of the technology can't compensate for easily. In addition, the price of green methane that is not subsidised or funded. The renewable Gas would have to compete on the market with cheap, fossil natural gas. The bill goes on, at least in Germany, still. And: "Unfortunately, we see in Germany, there is currently no political movement to improve the situation," says Doris Hafenbradl. Nevertheless, she is confident that soon the markets for commercial P2G plants to be built. "In countries and regions such as Denmark, Belgium, Italy, California, or Oregon, something is happening."

The archaea from Bayern, it would be, ultimately, pretty much no matter where they are used. The main thing is that you have it nice and why, and get hydrogen and CO2. Then multiply and renew themselves. Easy to care for they are.

This article was written by Wolfgang Kerler

In the PCP In the

*The post "With primeval microorganisms in a green electricity into Gas turn – and then save as" published by 1E9. Contact with the executives here.

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Updated Date: 27 May 2020, 09:27

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