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Holistic View on Synthetic Natural Gas Production: A Technical, Economic and Environmental Analysis

Vega Puga, Estefania and Moumin, Gkiokchan and Neumann, Nicole and Roeb, Martin and Ardone, Armin and Sattler, Christian (2022) Holistic View on Synthetic Natural Gas Production: A Technical, Economic and Environmental Analysis. Energies, 15 (5), p. 1608. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/en15051608. ISSN 1996-1073.

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/15/5/1608


Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) is the most researched option for a Power-to-Fuel pathway in Germany after hydrogen, having the advantage of being compatible with the existing infrastruc- ture. However, it is not clear under which conditions SNG is economically and environmentally advantageous compared to natural gas usage, since this is determined by a complex interplay of many factors. This study analyzes the technical, economic and environmental aspects of a pilot SNG plant to determine the key parameters for profitable and sustainable operation. The SNG plant was simulated in Aspen Plus® with CO2 from biogas production as a feedstock and with hydrogen provided by a 1 MWel electrolyzer unit. A life cycle analysis (LCA) was undertaken considering several impact categories with a special focus on global warming potential (GWP). An SNG cost of 0.33–4.22 €/kWhth was calculated, depending on factors such as operational hours, electricity price and type of electrolyzer. It was found that the CO2 price has a negligible effect on the SNG cost, while the electricity is the main cost driver. This shows that significant cost reductions will be needed for SNG to be competitive with natural gas. For the investigated scenarios, a CO2 tax of at least 1442 €/t was determined, calling for more drastic measures. Considering the global warming potential, only an operation with an emission factor of electricity below 121 g CO2-eq/kWhel leads to a reduction in emissions. This demonstrates that unless renewable energies are implemented at a much higher rate than predicted, no sustainable SNG production before 2050 will be possible in Germany.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/194756/
Document Type:Article
Title:Holistic View on Synthetic Natural Gas Production: A Technical, Economic and Environmental Analysis
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Moumin, GkiokchanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4818-0448UNSPECIFIED
Sattler, ChristianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4314-1124UNSPECIFIED
Date:22 February 2022
Journal or Publication Title:Energies
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 1608
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:techno economic analysis; LCA; synthetic natural gas; CCU; Power-to-Gas
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Materials and Technologies for the Energy Transition
HGF - Program Themes:Chemical Energy Carriers
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SW - Solar and Wind Energy
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Solar Fuels
Location: Jülich , Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Future Fuels
Institute of Future Fuels > Solar-Chemical Process Development
Deposited By: Bülow, Mark
Deposited On:03 May 2023 10:31
Last Modified:03 May 2023 10:31

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