Methane (CH4) is a simple hydrocarbon. Q Power has developed technologies for the production of synthetic methane, which is chemically identical to the main component of natural gas. Methane is a versatile fuel with an extensive distribution and end-use infrastructure.
Our of all hydrocarbons, methane has the highest energy density per carbon atom, and therefore releases the least amount of carbon dioxide per unit of energy at combustion. Combustion also releases practically zero nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide or particulate matter into the atmosphere.
Methane can be used e.g. to heat homes and commercial buildings, or as the fuel of CNG-powered cars. The gas can also be used to generate electric power. Synthetic methane can be used directly on the site of production or injeted into the existing natural gas distribution network. Natural gas networks also act as large-scale energy storages.
Synthetic methane is a sustainable substitute for fossil fuels, as well as a more attractive choice than other biofuels.
Methane can be produced by reacting carbon dioxide and hydrogen in a Sabatier reaction: CO2 + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O. The reaction can be catalyzed in two alternative ways: either biologically and at low temperatures by methane-producing micro-organisms, or at high temperatures and pressures and with a nickel catalyst. Our technology is based on biological conversion.
In our methanation process, CO2 is used as an input rather than discharging it into the atmosphere. The unique Q Power reactor design enables a highly efficient gas transfer and biological efficiency without the use of pressurizing or mixing.
Our process is both energy and cost-efficient, as the bioreactor does not require mixing, pressurizing or constant fluid pumping. The temperature of the process is only around 50 to 70 °C (120 to 160 °F), while catalyst technologies require a temperature of several hundred degrees. There is also no need for constant laboratory surveillance of the process. A full 83 % of the energy stored in hydrogen inputs is transformed into methane in our reactor.
Our technology is a solution to the need for storing renewable energy. The gas acts as a chemical storage from which energy can be fed back to the power grid through a generator. Its utilization level is superior to other methanation technologies, and it is more efficient in storing electricity than battery technology.