Baker Hughes invests in Electrochaea

Baker Hughes Invests in Bio-methanation Technology Company Electrochaea to Expand Carbon Utilization Portfolio with Power-to-Gas Solution

  • Electrochaea technology enables CO2 recycling into grid-quality, low carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG),  contributing to decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors, such as transportation and heating.
  • Baker Hughes will combine its post combustion carbon capture technology with Electrochaea’s bio-methanation technology to develop and commercialize an integrated carbon capture and utilization (CCU) solution.

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June 28, 2021 at 8:00 AM EDT

Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR), an energy technology company, has announced an investment in Electrochaea, a growth stage company developing novel proprietary bio-methanation technology. Through its investment, Baker Hughes will enhance its broader carbon capture and utilization (CCU) portfolio and provide an integrated solution for customers across the carbon dioxide (CO2) value chain to enable the production of low carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG) from captured CO2 and green hydrogen, helping meet demand for cleaner fuels to advance the energy transition.

The Electrochaea bio-methanation process is an accessible, highly-efficient, scalable and complementary technology to the Baker Hughes CCU portfolio. The two companies will join efforts to accelerate the scale up and industrialization of the technology, and they will develop the commercialization of an innovative integrated carbon capture and utilization solution. Once commercialized, the solution will provide to customers a unique ability to transform CO2 emissions into clean SNG.

Baker Hughes will draw from its portfolio of carbon capture technologies, including its Compact Carbon Capture design, to provide integrated solutions tailored to specific applications utilizing both CO2 sources with biogenic origin, such as biomass and waste-to-energy plants, as well as sources based on combustion of fossil fuels, such as industrial plants.

“The combination of these technologies provides an integrated method to decarbonize hard to abate sectors such as road transportation and heating”, said Rod Christie, executive vice president of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes. “This agreement is another deliberate step in our strategy to position Baker Hughes for new energy frontiers like CCU by investing in emerging technologies and combining them with our own proven capabilities. Together, we can develop and scale faster, providing integrated solutions that can effectively decarbonize a range of industries.”

“Delivering synthetic natural gas at grid scale would be a remarkable development for energy consumers,” added Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea. “By combining Baker Hughes’ carbon capture technology process with biomethanation, customers could potentially deploy large scale plants to reduce the carbon impact of existing gas infrastructure. We look forward to working with Baker Hughes to scale up this promising new solution.”

SNG is methane that originates from a synthesis process that starts from carbon and hydrogen feedstock. Compared to renewable natural gas (RNG) and bio-methane – which have biological origin – or fossil based natural gas, SNG re-utilizes CO2 that would be otherwise emitted into the atmosphere, thus contributing to significantly mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Electrochaea’s technology produces SNG from green hydrogen and CO2 that can come from a variety of sources, such as biogas, fermentation off-gas or captured from single point emitters such as power and industrial plants. SNG can be used for low-carbon heating, transport and industrial applications. In addition, once SNG is injected into existing natural gas pipelines, it can be used as a form of energy storage.

Along with the lead investor Baker Hughes, the existing investors MVP, Storengy (an ENGIE subsidiary), KfW, Caliza, Focus First, Energie 360°, and btov also participated in Electrocheaea’s latest financing round. Baker Hughes will take an approximately 15% stake in Electrochaea to help advance new project development and commercialization. Baker Hughes will also assume a seat on Electrochaea’s Board of Directors.

 

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About Baker Hughes:

Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR) is an energy technology company that provides solutions to energy and industrial customers worldwide. Built on a century of experience and with operations in over 120 countries, our innovative technologies and services are taking energy forward – making it safer, cleaner and more efficient for people and the planet. Visit us at bakerhughes.com.

About Electrochaea:

Electrochaea delivers a technology to produce renewable methane, a drop-in fuel for natural gas, that can be stored and transported in the existing gas grid. Electrochaea’s patented process addresses the climate challenge by utilizing CO2, producing a renewable fuel, and providing a solution for long-term storage of intermittent renewable energy. The company is planning to deploy its technology with partners to produce more than 15 billion cubic feet per year of renewable SNG by 2025. Industrial-scale pilot plants have operated in the U.S., Switzerland and Denmark. Electrochaea is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with subsidiaries in Denmark and the U.S. Visit us at www.electrochaea.com.


EU Innovation Council invests €17.5 Million in Electrochaea’s Power-to-Methane technology

Electrochaea ́s power-to-gas technology receives funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC), confirming that their market-ready innovations make an important contribution to the goals of the European Green Deal and the UN agenda for sustainable development.
Based on biocatalysis, Electrochaea offers a multiple nationally and internationally patented key power-to-gas technology, which cost-effectively recycles CO2 and at the same time produces CO2-neutral methane from excess electrical energy that can be stored and used as required.

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In total, more than 2,000 European companies applied for the “EIC Accelerator” pilot program. Electrochaea is one of only 64 selected start-ups and medium-sized companies supported bythe Councilwith their projects. The EIC Accelerator program is part of the EU research and innovation program”Horizon2020″. It is aimed at entrepreneurs and SMEs that can apply for grants or mixed financing from grants and equity support. Since this year, around €300 million are available for submissions that promote the European Green Deal. Electrochaea fulfils this requirement in three ways: the long-term storage of renewable energy, production of biomethane, and reduction of the carbon footprint by using CO2 emitted by various industrial sources.

“We are proud to be one of the few selected funding recipients of the EIC. For us, this funding commitment is also a crucial strategic statement,” explains Dr. Doris Hafenbradl, CTO of Electrochaea. “In its rationale, the European Innovation Council confirms for the first time and in all clarity that Europe needs sustainable storage solutions for renewable energy sources and that green gas is indispensable for a sustainable, reliable and comprehensive energy supply”.

The EU funds will be used for the so-called scale-up, the development of the technology from existing pilot plants to commercially scaled plants. With the equity investment, Electrochaea will construct a fully operational 10 to 20 MW plant. The outcome is that customers will benefit: by scaling up and building a sample plant, the risk for commercial projects will be minimized and Electrochaea will be able to offer reliable and highly efficient standardized plants. “The additional financial resources will help us to apply the potential of biological methanation even faster on a commercial scale,” says Hafenbradl. “The European Innovation Council explicitly recognizes the expertise, diversity and motivation of our team as important factors in our success story in constructing industrial pilot plants and forming strategic partnerships with key players”.

Harald Beschid (COO), Doris Hafenbradl (CTO and Managing Director) and Birgit Lewandowski (Director Development) of Electrochaea are pleased about the investment of the European Innovation Council and consider it as a strong political signal. (© Electrochaea GmbH, 2020)


Electrochaea injects biomethane into Danish natural gas grid

World's biggest biological power-to-gas plant

feeds biomethane into Danish natural gas grid

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Renewable methane, produced by the world’s largest biological power-to-gas plant, was injected for the first time into the Danish natural gas grid on September 24, 2019 near Copenhagen, Denmark. Using Electrochaea’s patented power-to-gas technology, the energy in green electricity can be stored in the natural gas grid for later use. Microorganisms, called archaea, are the key to the technology; the archaea exclusively synthesize methane, the key component of natural gas, from carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen. At the Danish plant, the archaea make methane by combining CO2 from a nearby wastewater treatment plant with hydrogen produced by an on-site electrolyzer, which uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. With a power consumption of one megawatt, the plant has the capacity to inject up to 31 SCFM of biomethane (1200 m3 per day) into the natural gas grid at the same time preventing the release of 800 tons of CO2 per year. The gas produced contains more than 98% methane and less than 1% hydrogen and CO2, exceeding the requirements for gas grid injection in Denmark. This high gas quality also exceeds the injection criteria in other relevant markets, such as Germany and California. The plant was built and operated with the support of the joint BioCat project (www.biocatproject.com), funded by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) of the Danish Energy Agency. The main goals of project are to develop an efficient and marketable solution for the storage of wind energy, which is needed to balance energy supply and demand in situations where variable renewable energy sources, such as wind power, are dominant. The interest in storage solutions for renewable energy is particularly high in Denmark. The country’s goal is to be independent of fossil fuels and to have 100% renewable energy for all uses including transportation by 2050. By 2030, Denmark wants to produce 70% less CO2 compared to 1990 emissions.

Read the full press release here


Electrochaea: start of the first scalable biomethanisation plant in the USA

SoCalGas and Electrochaea announce commissioning

of new biomethanation reactor system

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Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Electrochaea today announced the commissioning of the nation’s first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colo.  The technology uses renewable electricity to convert hydrogen into pipeline quality methane for use in homes, businesses and in transportation.  Over the next 24 months, the project will assess the commercial viability of this power-to-gas approach to energy storage and decarbonization and provide insights into potential mega-watt scale system designs.
The project in Colorado builds upon and advances research previously conducted by Electrochaea. The reactor system operates at a 50 to 60 percent efficiency.  For every 10 kilowatts-hour of power received by the water electrolysis model, the equivalent of 5 to 6 kilowatts-hour of methane is created by the microbes.

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Storengy invests in Electrochaea

Storengy pioneers power-to-gas market

with investment in Electrochaea

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Becoming a shareholder of Electrochaea GmbH, the leading provider of power-to-gas technology based on biological methanation located in Munich, Germany, STORENGY is positioning itself on an emerging market, bringing together its operator and integrator skills and an innovative technology already efficient.
Electrochaea’s existing investors (MVP, KfW, btov, Caliza, and Focus First) were excited to invest along with Storengy in this financing round.
Simultaneously with the investment, Storengy and Electrochaea are planning to roll out commercial projects in the North American and European markets. With a strong pipeline of projects, Storengy and Electrochaea want to be a leading provider of Power-to-Gas worldwide.

Click here to read the full press release