Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Fuels for Power-to-Gas Energy Storage


EMG™ Cell Operation
EMG™ Cell Operation
Sustainable Innovations, LLC
Website:  Sustainable Innovations, LLC
Award Number:  SC0015879
Project Duration:  06/13/2016 – 03/12/2017
Total Award Value:  $149,109
DOE Share:  $149,109
Performer Share:  $0
Technology Area:  Carbon Use and Reuse
Key Technology:  Chemical Conversion
Location:  East Hartford, Connecticut

Project Description

Sustainable Innovations, LLC, will develop an Electrochemical Methane Generation (EMG™) system for producing methane (CH4) from carbon dioxide (CO2) produced from the combustion of fossil fuels in large-scale power plants. The EMG system operates with the same basic scientific principles as a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis cell (used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen), but with design modifications to suppress the formation of hydrogen (H2) at the cathode electrode and favor the CO2 electro-reduction reaction. The most substantial modification is the replacement of the platinum-based catalyst with a proprietary material. Instead of a reaction yielding H2, the cathode reactions can include the following, which yields methane: 8e- + 8H+ + CO2 → CH4 + 2H2O. The key technical objectives are to determine the feasibility of converting dilute CO2 streams to CH4 in bench-scale experiments, and to complete parametric performance mapping of individual cell elements. Technoeconomic studies on a power-to-gas model for a typical coal-fired plant configuration will be performed, as will an investigation of the economic viability and identification of key technical drivers required to achieve viability.

Project Benefits

This technology will provide the means to manage greenhouse gas emissions and the capability of efficiently and economically converting excess CO2 to fuels and commodity chemicals.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrew Jones: andrew.jones@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett: lynn.brickett@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Trent Molter: trent.molter@sustainableinnov.com

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