Are Ancient Bugs the Key to Storing Wind and Solar?

In this special podcast episode: We tour NREL’s new bioreactor that creates renewable methane from microorganisms, hydrogen and CO2.

As grids get saturated with wind and solar electricity, there’s increasing pressure to find new ways to store that energy across daily, monthly or seasonal variations.

Could the answer be a billion-year-old microorganism?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and SoCalGas are currently running a new bioreactor that could turn renewable electrons into renewable methane — allowing excess generation to be “stored” in existing natural-gas pipelines.

The system relies on an ancient microorganism that ferments hydrogen and carbon dioxide and turns it into methane. By feeding the bugs hydrogen from renewable resources and CO2 from industrial sources, companies like SoCalGas could harness a new supply of renewable natural gas.

As grids get saturated with wind and solar electricity, there’s increasing pressure to find new ways to store that energy across daily, monthly or seasonal variations.

Could the answer be a billion-year-old microorganism?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and SoCalGas are currently running a new bioreactor that could turn renewable electrons into renewable methane — allowing excess generation to be “stored” in existing natural-gas pipelines.

The system relies on an ancient microorganism that ferments hydrogen and carbon dioxide and turns it into methane. By feeding the bugs hydrogen from renewable resources and CO2 from industrial sources, companies like SoCalGas could harness a new supply of renewable natural gas.

Read More On GTM

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *