Energy company St1 and Q Power, a renewable energy start-up, have launched a joint project for developing a novel way of making synthetic biomethane from carbon dioxide. In the pilot project, Q Power’s biological methanation technology utilises the carbon dioxide recovered from the production of waste-based ethanol at St1’s biorefinery. Q Power’s technology allows producing biomethane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The biological methanation technology was developed by utilising methanogenic archaea isolated from a boreal peat. Biomethane is used as a renewable fuel in traffic, as biogas and in liquified form in shipping, for example.
The pilot project will be implemented at St1’s Etanolix® biorefinery in Vantaa, where advanced ethanol is produced from bakery waste for use as traffic fuel. Q Power’s methanisation unit has been integrated with the biorefinery. The pilot phase in Vantaa will last three months, during which the concept will be tested and its technical and economic scalability specified. A refuelling station has also been connected with the pilot unit, from which the gas vehicles participating in the pilot are directly filled with biomethane produced in the process.
Q Power’s technology offers concrete solutions for combatting climate change. In the broad scale, biomethane will play an important role especially as a renewable fuel for heavy vehicles and in shipping. The concept also offers the possibility to store energy and can thus be used as an energy storage for renewable energy.
”For us, emissions and waste are raw materials that can be used to significantly increase sustainable biomethane production. We are very pleased with the launched pilot, as it allows us to test concrete solutions for combat climate change in an industrial environment together with St1”, says Eero Paunonen, the new CEO of Q Power.
”Combatting climate change calls for both sustainable fuels and binding the carbon already present in the atmosphere. Q Power’s technology has vast potential to transform carbon dioxide from different industrial processes into sustainable fuels. We consider the concept very interesting from the point of view of converting the carbon dioxide flows from our own oil and biorefineries as well as other industry into sustainable fuels”, says Patrick Pitkänen, Director of Biorefining Business Development at St1.
Q Power has developed a patented, microbe-based renewable energy storage method, and a non-carbon emitting way of processing demanding carbon-based process residues and waste into energy. Completely new technology, high operating efficiency and a climate-friendly carbon balance have made the company globally interesting. The company was founded by Ilkka Herlin and Saara Kankaanrinta and the development work was carried out in Qvidja Kraft. From the point of view of the global markets, the operations will continue under the Q Power brand.
St1 Nordic Oy is a Nordic energy group whose vision is to be the leading producer and seller of CO2-aware energy. The Group researches and develops economically viable, environmentally sustainable energy solutions. St1 focuses on fuels marketing activities, oil refining and renewable energy solutions such as waste-based advanced ethanol fuels and industrial wind power. The Group has 1300 St1 and Shell branded retail stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Headquartered in Helsinki, St1 employs currently more than 750 people. www.st1.eu