by Alexander Flores
GreatPoint Energy has discovered a way to produce low-cost, clean natural gas from biomass, petroleum coke, and coal utilizing its patented Bluegas catalytic hydromethanation process. This Bluegas is able to operate at a much higher efficiency than competing technologies while benefitting from lower capital intensity, a superior environmental footprint, nearly complete carbon capture, and a significantly lower cost of production. The natural gas produced can be transported through existing pipeline infrastructure while remaining much less expensive than liquefied natural gas. By being completely interchangeable with drilled natural gas, it also can be used for power generation, residential and commercial heating, and the production of chemicals.
So how exactly does the Bluegas catalytic hydromethanation process work? Essentially, this process entails carbon-rich feedstocks being converted through a combination of catalytic reactions in the presence of water into a methane-rich gas stream. First, a catalyst is dispersed throughout the matrix of a carbon-rich feedstock under specific conditions to ensure effective reactivity. The catalyst/feedstock material is then loaded into a hydromethanation reactor where pressurized steam is injected to fluidize the mixture and ensure continuous contact between catalyst and carbon particles. The catalyst then facilitates multiple chemical reactions between the carbon and the steam on the surface of the particles. The overall combination of reactions that occur are thermally neutral, which make it highly efficient. The sulfur-tolerant catalyst formulation is composed of abundantly available, low cost metal materials designed to promote gasification at the low temperatures where methanation and water-gas shift occur. This catalyst is then recycled and reused within the process. The addition of such a catalyst allows the reduction of operating temperatures in the gasifier while promoting yields of methane. With mild catalytic conditions, less expensive reactor components are used along with low-cost carbon sources, while pipeline grade methane is produced. Overall, the Bluegas technology permits the recovery of contaminants in coal, petroleum coke, and biomass as useful byproducts. Additionally, nearly all of the carbon dioxide produced is captured as a pure stream, which is suitable for sequestration or enhanced oil recovery. The company intends to develop, own, and operate large-scale Bluegas production facilities with local partners in the near future. The full-scale facilities will be strategically located in areas with the greatest price differential between delivered feedstock and natural gas markets for maximum effectiveness. Great point, GreatPoint.
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TAGS: GreatPoint Energy Inc., Bluegas, Andrew Perlman, Daniel Goldman