Baker Hughes Invests in Bio-methanation Technology Company Electrochaea to Expand Carbon Utilization
Baker Hughes has announced an investment in Electrochaea, a growth stage company developing novel proprietary bio-methanation technology. Through its investment, Baker Hughes will enhance its broader carbon capture and utilization (CCU) portfolio and provide an integrated solution for customers across the carbon dioxide (CO2) value chain to enable the production of low carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG) from captured CO2 and green hydrogen, helping meet demand for cleaner fuels to advance the energy transition.
The Electrochaea bio-methanation process is an accessible, highly-efficient, scalable and complementary technology to the Baker Hughes CCU portfolio. The two companies will join efforts to accelerate the scale up and industrialization of the technology, and they will develop the commercialization of an innovative integrated carbon capture and utilization solution. Once commercialized, the solution will provide to customers a unique ability to transform CO2 emissions into clean SNG.
Baker Hughes will draw from its portfolio of carbon capture technologies, including its Compact Carbon Capture design, to provide integrated solutions tailored to specific applications utilizing both CO2 sources with biogenic origin, such as biomass and waste-to-energy plants, as well as sources based on combustion of fossil fuels, such as industrial plants.
“The combination of these technologies provides an integrated method to decarbonize hard to abate sectors such as road transportation and heating”, said Rod Christie, executive vice president of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes. “This agreement is another deliberate step in our strategy to position Baker Hughes for new energy frontiers like CCU by investing in emerging technologies and combining them with our own proven capabilities. Together, we can develop and scale faster, providing integrated solutions that can effectively decarbonize a range of industries.”
“Delivering synthetic natural gas at grid scale would be a remarkable development for energy consumers,” added Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea. “By combining Baker Hughes’ carbon capture technology process with biomethanation, customers could potentially deploy large scale plants to reduce the carbon impact of existing gas infrastructure. We look forward to working with Baker Hughes to scale up this promising new solution.”
SNG is methane that originates from a synthesis process that starts from carbon and hydrogen feedstock. Compared to renewable natural gas (RNG) and bio-methane - which have biological origin - or fossil based natural gas, SNG re-utilizes CO2 that would be otherwise emitted into the atmosphere, thus contributing to significantly mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
Electrochaea’s technology produces SNG from green hydrogen and CO2 that can come from a variety of sources, such as biogas, fermentation off-gas or captured from single point emitters such as power and industrial plants. SNG can be used for low-carbon heating, transport and industrial applications. In addition, once SNG is injected into existing natural gas pipelines, it can be used as a form of energy storage.
Along with the lead investor Baker Hughes, the existing investors MVP, Storengy (an ENGIE subsidiary), KfW, Caliza, Focus First, Energie 360°, and btov also participated in Electrocheaea’s latest financing round. Baker Hughes will take an approximately 15% stake in Electrochaea to help advance new project development and commercialization. Baker Hughes will also assume a seat on Electrochaea’s Board of Directors.