Green gas: A business model

Manuel Götz
Manuel Götz

Viessmann is restructuring both its fuel cell and biomethane divisions. Its newly founded holding company, Schmack BioEnergie, specializes in biogas with an increasing focus on biological methanation. As early as this year, Viessmann will start construction on the first commercial methanation unit in Switzerland.

The biological method offers multiple benefits, including outstanding efficiency, low susceptibility to contaminants and a highly responsive on-off mode.

When it comes to hydrogen, biomethane and fuel cells, Viessmann is standing strong. Alexander Dauensteiner, Viessmann’s fuel cell division director, said that “all three areas interact perfectly in the energy scenario.” That is an interesting market approach. Then, this globally operating concern is certain that green gases such as hydrogen and biomethane are going to play a dominant role throughout all industries.

For one, long-term seasonal storage is the only way the German government will meet climate targets of a 60 to 95 percent carbon dioxide reduction. For another, taken together, the electrolysis method and power reconversion via fuel cells cover all bases. If renewable electricity needs to be stored, the electrolyzer turns it into clean gas. When applications need electricity, a fuel cell extracts energy, as well as heat, from the stored gas.

With an eye on existing infrastructure, Viessmann sees biological methanation as a vital building block to erecting a carbon-neutral society. “Germany’s pipeline system and underground caverns offer several months’ worth of storage capacity. Therefore, our most climate-friendly energy source, produced via biological methanation, can be stored for a long time, generating power, heat, or fuel for natural gas vehicles, independent of production sites,” said Dauensteiner.

read more in H2-international August 2020

Michael Nallinger

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