Multidisciplinary Assessment of a Novel Carbon Capture and Utilization Concept including Underground Sun Conversion

Andreas Zauner, Karin Fazeni-Fraisl , Philipp Wolf-Zöllner, Marie-Theres Holzleitner, Argjenta Veseli , Markus Lehner, Stephan Bauer, Markus Pichler

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelForschungBegutachtung


The current work investigates the feasibility of a novel Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) approach—also known as Underground Sun Conversion (USC) or geo-methanation. The overall objective of the current work is a comprehensive assessment on the technical, economic and legal aspects as well as greenhouse gas impacts to be concerned for establishing USC technology concept. This is achieved by applying multidisciplinary research approach combining process simulation, techno-economic and greenhouse gas assessment as well as legal analysis allows answering questions about technical, economic feasibility and greenhouse gas performance as well as on legal constraints related to large scale CCU using geo-methanation in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs. CO2 from the industry and renewable H2 from the electrolyser are converted to geomethane in an underground gas storage and used in industry again to close the carbon cycle. Process simulation results showed the conversion rates vary due to operation mode and gas cleaning is necessary in any case to achieve natural gas grid compliant feed in quality. The geomethane production costs are found to be similar or even lower than the costs for synthetic methane from Above Ground Methanation (AGM). The GHG-assessment shows a significant saving compared to fossil natural gas and conventional power-to-gas applications. From a legal perspective the major challenge arises from a regulative gap of CCU in the ETS regime. Accordingly, a far-reaching exemption from the obligation to surrender certificates would be fraught with many legal and technical problems and uncertainties.
FachzeitschriftEnergies : open-access journal of related scientific research, technology development and studies in policy and management
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 29 Jan. 2022

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The work performed in this article was conducted as part of the research project “Underground Sun Conversion (USC)”, funded by the FFG and including the following partners: RAG Austria AG, Chair of Process Technology and Industrial Environmental Protection as well as Chair of General and Analytical Chemistry at Montanuniversität Leoben, Department of Agrobiotechnology at IFA-Tulln, acib the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, Energieinstitut at Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, and AXIOM Angewandte Prozesstechnik Ges.m.b.H. The authors would also like to acknowledge the work of Hanna Weiss during her Bachelor thesis and Daniel C. Rosenfeld for his work in the field of LCA in the project during his employment at the Energieinstitut at Johannes Kepler Universität Linz.

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), grant number 855231.

Funding Information:
Purkus, A.; Sakhel, A.; Werner, R.; Maaß, C. Herkunftsnachweise für Erneuerbare Energien Jenseits des Stromsetors, Chancen und Herausforderungen; HIR Hamburg Institut Research: Hamburg, Germany, 2020. Verwimp, K.; Moody, P.; Van Stein Callenfels, R.; Kovacs, A.; Vanhoudt, W.; Barth, F.; Pedraza, S.; Lehtovaara, M.; Klimscheffskij, M.; White, A. Identification of the Main Challenges Which Currently Exist in the Management of Guarantee of Origin System (Task 1.3). In Technical Support for RES Policy Development and Implementation; European Commission: Brussels, Belgium, 2020. Cornélis/Lenzen. Guarantees of Origin and Disclosure. Core Theme 3 Report; (Horizon 2020 Project, Grant Agreement N◦101035887); Concerted Action-Renewable Energy Sources Directive. 2020. Available online: cares/PublicArea/CA-RES3FinalPublication/CARES3_Final_CT3_Summary.pdf (accessed on 17 November 2021).

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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