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NEDO to Evaluate Technologies to Produce Methane Using CO2 From Coal, Green Hydrogen

2017/11/18 09:57
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) announced Nov 14, 2017, that it has started to develop technologies to effectively use CO2 emitted from coal-fired thermal power plants.

NEDO will test and evaluate valuable resource production processes and entire systems that use the technologies in the aim of establishing promising technologies for effective use of CO2.

Coal is a fossil resource that is superior in supply stability and economic efficiency, and coal-fired power plants account for 26% of the amount of electricity generated and supplied in Japan. However, coal generates a large amount of CO2, making it important to develop technologies such as (1) CCS (carbon dioxide capture and storage), which separates, collects and stores CO2 contained in exhaust air, and (2) CCU (carbon dioxide capture and utilization), which uses the stored CO2, as measures against climate change.

In the "Technological Roadmap Concerning Next-generation Thermal Power Generation," which was established in June 2016 by a council aimed at realizing next-generation thermal power generation at an early date, the CCU technology was cited as an effort with an eye toward fiscal 2030 or later. In consideration of that, this time, NEDO adopted two themes: "development of technologies to effectively use CO2" and "research and development of technologies for land cultivation using CO2."

For the development of technologies to effectively use CO2, the applicability of technologies to generate and effectively use methane produced by using (1) high-concentration CO2 contained in exhaust gas from coal-fired power plants, etc and (2) hydrogen produced by renewable energy-derived electricity is evaluated. The applicability is comprehensively evaluated through the research and verification test of valuable resource production processes and entire systems. This is scheduled to be entrusted to the Institute of Applied Energy (IAE), the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), INPEX Corp, JFE Steel Corp and Hitachi Zosen Corp.

For the research and development of technologies for land cultivation using CO2, research is conducted on the establishment of land cultivation production processes that efficiently dissolve high-concentration CO2 contained in exhaust gas from coal-fired power plants into sea water to culture sea weed. This is scheduled to be entrusted to NEC Solution Innovators Ltd.