MethQuest: Using renewable methane to drive the energy revolution.

Success in driving forward the energy revolution and implementing the climate targets is one of the most significant social tasks facing us over the coming decades. In Science, Industry and Politics the conviction is growing that technical and economic considerations mean an energy concept based exclusively on electricity is not expedient. In every segment of the energy sector, gas-based technologies utilizing renewable energy sources are capable of operating in tandem with electricity-based technologies and of playing a significant role in implementing the energy revolution.

About MethQuest

  • Total budget:  €32 million 
  • State grants: €19 million provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
  • Project start: 01.09.2018
  • Term: 3 years
  • Participation: 27 partners

Fig 1: MethQuest participants at the kick-off meeting in Friedrichshafen on September 13/14, 2018.

Fig. 2: Presentation of notice of grant by Norbert Brackmann (right) to Michael Hönl, Frank Graf and Andreas Schell (left to right).

Renewable methane can be produced in the power-to-gas (PtG) process using electric energy from renewable sources and non-fossil carbon. This renewable-energy (RE-) methane offers a number of advantages over other options. Compared with liquid fuels, the technical processes involved are less complex and deliver considerably higher levels of energy efficiency, thus positively influencing prime costs and generation plant requirements. In addition, substituting compressed or liquefied RE-methane for compressed or liquefied natural gas (CNG/LNG) creates no technical problems so that existing combustion units and engines can continue in operation. And because the proportion of RE-methane in relation to fossil–based natural gas can be increased in stages, no short-term fuel switch is required.

With the aim of driving forward the energy revolution, MethQuest develops and investigates technologies for efficiently producing RE-methane that can be used in both mobile and stationary applications (passenger vehicles, ships, CHP plants). The project likewise focuses on the possible effects introducing RE-methane might have on the German energy generation system overall in terms of infrastructure requirements, costs and environmental factors. Particular attention is also targeted on possibilities for linkage in different sectors in order to optimize existing resources. In its Rheinhafen Karlsruhe’ case study, MethQuest is likewise pursuing concrete solutions for developing microgrids for inland harbors ad seaports.

The project’s ‘whole package’ approach and the involvement of partners from R&D, industry and the power generation sector guarantee technological innovation and further development along the entire value chain from the generation of gas through to end-user applications. For those involved, the project’s interdisciplinary character is a major motivating factor.

Supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

MethQuest coordination:

MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH
Maybachplatz 1
88045 Friedrichshafen

 

DVGW Research Center at the Engler-Bunte Institute,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Engler-Bunte-Ring 1
76131 Karlsruhe