Once operational, the BioCat facility will be world’s largest power-to-gas plant based on biological methanation. The project features many innovative concepts that are being tested for the first time on an industrial scale.
Advanced Hydrogen Production Unit
Hydrogenics’ advanced alkaline electrolyzer features larger cell stacks that require less space for the production hydrogen than previous models. The system is optimized for low capital cost and fast ramping and is capable of offering frequency regulation services to the Danish power grid.
Electrochaea’s biological methanation system is a highly innovative approach to converting carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methane. The archaea that perform the catalytic reaction have been specifically adapted for energy storage applications. They exhibit a number of physical properties that make them unique, both in the area of methanation as well as more broadly in the universe of bioenergy systems. A commercial-scale bioreactor specifically designed to exploit the catalytic ability of Electrochaea’s microorganism will be shown in the BioCat Project for the first time.
Oxygen & Heat Recycling
Oxygen and heat emerge as by-products from the power-to-gas process. Oxygen is produced by the electrolyzer as a result of splitting water into its molecular components. Heat is produced by both the electrolyzer and the bioreactor, as electrolytic water splitting and methanation are exothermic reactions that generate recoverable heat.
The BioCat Project will demonstrate the technical feasibility and economic value of recycling these by-products in the on-site wastewater treatment operations. The oxygen will be used in the activated sludge treatment basins to replace ambient air, resulting in a decrease of up to 80% of the volume of gas (typically ambient air) with which the basins need to be aerated. The heat will be recovered from the electrolyzer and bioreactor with a heat removal system and used for heating buildings and sludge.
Ancillary Service Provision
There are currently no electrolyzers in Denmark providing grid stabilization services to the Danish power grid. One of the BioCat Project’s key objectives is to accredit the electrolyzer for the provision of frequency regulation services and to demonstrate its ability to meet the response time requirements set by the Danish grid operator.
Optimized Trading Strategy
Managing a power-to-gas facility with a view toward maximizing economic value capture is a non-trivial task. One key objective of the BioCat Project is to develop an optimized trading strategy and to set up a direct communications link between the facility and an energy trading platform to remotely manage the asset in response to prevailing market conditions.