Production of synthetic natural gas from industrial carbon dioxide

Remi Chauvy, Lionel Dubois, Paul Lybaert, Diane Thomas, Guy De Weireld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The Power-to-Gas strategy has become a mainstream topic for decarbonization and development of renewables and flexibility in energy systems. One of the key arguments for decarbonizing the gas network is to take advantage of existing network infrastructure, gradually transitioning to lower fossil carbon sources of methane from Power-to-Gas. This work proposes the techno-economic investigation of an integrated system considering an advanced CO2 capture process, in terms of solvent and process configuration, to treat about 10% of a cement plant's flue gas and convert the captured CO2 into synthetic natural gas using renewable hydrogen generated from a large-scale wind powered electrolyzer. An optimized heat recovery system is proposed, drastically decreasing the external hot utility demand of the CO2 capture unit. In addition, it leads to the production of complementary electricity (about 1.06 MW), reducing thus also the electrical demand of the integrated process. The synthetic natural gas produced has a composition (CH4 92.9 mol.%, CO2 3.7 mol.%, and H2 3.4 mol.%) and a Wobbe index (46.72 MJ/m3), corresponding to specification for gas grid injection at 50 bar in Germany. With an overall system efficiency of 72.6%, the process produces 0.40 ton synthetic natural gas per ton of captured CO2. The cost of the synthetic natural gas produced is higher when compared to the present natural gas market price, but cost reductions and possible commercial use of coproducts like oxygen, represent a likely alternative. Costs are mainly driven by high capital investments (the electrolyzer), and the price of renewable electricity, which is expected to decrease in the coming years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114249
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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