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Comparative Technoeconomic Analysis of Renewable Generation of Methane Using Sunlight, Water, and Carbon Dioxide

Welch, Alex J. and Digdaya, Ibadillah A. and Kent, Ron and Ghougassian, Paul and Atwater, Harry A. and Xiang, Chengxiang (2021) Comparative Technoeconomic Analysis of Renewable Generation of Methane Using Sunlight, Water, and Carbon Dioxide. ACS Energy Letters, 6 (4). pp. 1540-1549. ISSN 2380-8195. doi:10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00174.

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Thirty-one percent of the primary energy consumed in the United States comes from the burning of natural gas, 70–90% of which is composed of methane (CH₄). Natural gas is recovered from onshore and offshore natural gas and oil wells and from coal beds. Currently, the United States has enough supply of dry natural gas to sustain current consumption for 92 years. Meanwhile, California consumes 2.14 MMcf (43.2 million tons) of natural gas per year, over a quarter of which is used to generate electric power and which provides approximately 40% of the electrical energy in the state. Because an extensive nationwide storage and distribution network already exists for natural gas, the development of renewable CH₄ could enable rapid and widespread distribution of zero-carbon energy services. Thus, for California to meet its renewable portfolio standard, that is, 60% renewable energy for electricity generation by 2030, and to conserve a limited resource, it is imperative to assess how to develop and deploy technologies for renewable generation of CH₄ in the next decade.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Welch, Alex J.0000-0003-2132-9617
Digdaya, Ibadillah A.0000-0001-7349-0934
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Xiang, Chengxiang0000-0002-1698-6754
Additional Information:© 2021 American Chemical Society. Received: January 25, 2021; Accepted: February 26, 2021; Publication Date: March 26, 2021. The authors acknowledge the support from SoCalGas on the cost analysis of hydrogen generation, CO₂ and water capture, as well as thermochemical and biochemical methanation processes. The cost analysis on electrochemical and photoelectrochemical CO₂ conversion is based on work performed by the Liquid Sunlight Alliance, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Fuels from Sunlight Hub under Award Number DE-SC0021266. A.J.W. acknowledges support from the Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech for fellowship support and from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Base Award No. 174530. Author Contributions: A.J.W. and I.A.D. contributed equally to this work. A.J.W, I.A.D., R.K., P.G., C.X., and H.A.A. conceived the idea and examined the feasibility of such a process. A.J.W. and I.A.D. performed all of the calculations and research required to complete the energy analysis of various systems. R.K., P.G., C.X., and H.A.A advised throughout the process and provided valuable input for determining the viability of various proposed processes. A.J.W., I.A.D., C.X., and H.A.A. wrote the paper, and all authors commented on the manuscript. Views expressed in this Energy Focus are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the ACS. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0021266
Resnick Sustainability InstituteUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-174530
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210330-080727558
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Official Citation:Comparative Technoeconomic Analysis of Renewable Generation of Methane Using Sunlight, Water, and Carbon Dioxide. Alex J. Welch, Ibadillah A. Digdaya, Ron Kent, Paul Ghougassian, Harry A. Atwater, and Chengxiang Xiang. ACS Energy Letters 2021 6 (4), 1540-1549; DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00174
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108579
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Mar 2021 22:28
Last Modified:21 Apr 2021 18:12

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