Electrochaea ́spower-to-gas technologyreceivesfunding from the European Innovation Council (EIC), confirming that their market-ready innovations make an important contribution to the goals of the European Green Deal and the UN agenda for sustainable development. Electrochaea specializesin biological methanation. Microorganisms in bioreactors convert CO2 and hydrogen into biomethane.
Electricity from renewable energy sources used for this process can be stored as “green gas” at low cost and in the long term. For the scaling up of this technology and construction of the first standard 10-megawatt (MWe) plant, Electrochaea is now receiving an EU grant of 2.5 million Euro and an equity investment of 15 million Euro.
“We are proud to be one of the few selected funding recipients of the EIC. For us, this funding commitment is also a crucial strategic statement,” explains Dr. Doris Hafenbradl, CTO of Electrochaea. “In its rationale, the European Innovation Council confirms for the first time and in all clarity that Europe needs sustainable storage solutions for renewable energy sourcesand that green gas is indispensable for a sustainable, reliable and comprehensive energy supply”.
In total, more than 2,000 European companies applied for the “EIC Accelerator” pilot program. Electrochaea is one of only 64 selected start-ups and medium-sized companies supported by the Council with their projects. The EIC Accelerator program is part of the EU research and innovation program “Horizon 2020″. It is aimed at entrepreneurs and SMEs that can apply for grants or mixed financing from grants and equity support. Since this year, around 300 million Euro are available for submissions that promote the European Green Deal.
Electrochaea fulfils this requirement in three ways: the long-term storage of renewable energy, production of biomethane, and reduction of the carbon footprint by using CO2 emitted by various industrial sources.
The EU funds will be used for the so-called scale-up, the development of the technology from existing pilot plants to commercially scaled plants. With the equity investment, Electrochaea will construct a fully operational 10 to 20 MW plant. The outcome is that customers will benefit: by scaling up and building a sample plant, the risk for commercial projects will be minimized and Electrochaea will be able to offer reliable and highly efficient standardized plants.
“The additional financial resources will help us to apply the potential of biological methanation even faster on a commercial scale,” says Hafenbradl. “The European Innovation Council explicitly recognizes the expertise, diversity and motivation of our team as important factors in our success story in constructing industrial pilot plants and forming strategic partnerships with key players”.
Based on biocatalysis, Electrochaea offers a multiple nationally and internationally patented key power-to-gas technology, which cost-effectively recycles CO2 and at the same time produces CO2-neutralmethane from excess electrical energy that can be stored and used as required.
Industrial-scale plants are operating successfully in the USA (located at NREL, Golden, CO), Switzerland and Denmark. Plants with a capacity of over one gigawatt are planned by 2025. Electrochaea technology was awarded the Swiss energy prize Watt d’Or and listed by FOCUS magazine as one of the most important technologies for climate and environment.
Electrochaea’s team of nearly thirty supports its research, business development and operations in Denmark, the US, and at its headquarters in Munich. CEO is Mich Hein.