Storage of green energy with power-to-gas plants (09/2017)

(No. 189) The East Bavarian Technical University Regensburg (OTH Regensburg) is coordinating the exciting research project ORBIT. The eight partners amongst others from Upper Palatinate are working on the further development of bioreactors to be able to make the storage of energy sustainable.

The production of electricity from renewable sources is an important part of climate protection, but as a consequence there is a new demand for the storage of electricity. One part of the solution for this is offered by the power-to-gas process with biological methanization, whereby the (green) electricity is used for the electrolysis of water. The hydrogen resulting from this is then converted in a bioreactor with carbon dioxide to methane by microorganisms, in this case with special archaea. The methane produced, the main component of fossil natural gas can be distributed into the existing gas infrastructure and used in the technical plants at hand (gas power plants, industrial processes, vehicles) making the energy system more renewable. In the association research project ORBIT (optimization of a trickle bed bioreactor for the dynamic microbial biosynthesis of methane with archaea in power-to-gas plants), there are eight partners working on the optimization of a reactor for power-to-gas plants. The project is being funded over a period of three years with 1 million Euro by the Ministry for Economy and Energy and coordinated by the Research Unit Energy Networks and Energy Storage (FENES) at the OTH Regensburg. The project partners are the University of Regensburg with professorial chair in microbiology (German Archaea Center), the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg with the chair in energy process engineering, Electrochaea GmbH, the BioRegion Regensburg companies MicrobEnergy GmbH (Viessmann) und MicroPyros GmbH, as well as the Westnetz GmbH und die DVGW research site at the the Engler-Bunte-Institute of the Karlsruher Institute of Technologie.

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