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Significance of Synthetic Methane for Energy Storage and CO2 Reduction in the Mobility Sector

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21. Internationales Stuttgarter Symposium

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The introduction of synthetic fuels is one approach to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector. In this context, synthetic methane is promising due to the high degree of development of the technology and easy substitution in the vehicle fleet. In particular, the existing infrastructure including gas grid, gas storage, and filling stations as well as existing trade mechanisms allow a comparatively fast substitution of fossil natural gas by synthetic methane for light and heavy duty vehicles. This study discusses the direct potential for substitution of parts of the newly registered vehicle fleet with gas vehicles, fueled with synthetic methane, and compares it to the potential of using fuel cell electric vehicles relying on hydrogen. The production path of hydrogen and synthetic methane is analyzed with respect to electricity demand and overall associated CO2 emissions. The result is an estimate of the well-to-wheel CO2 emissions of vehicles fueled with hydrogen or synthetic methane.

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  1. 1.

    Technical compression work estimated according to Ref. [2] as three-stage compression with interstage cooling to 50°C and isentropic compressor efficiency of 0.85. Product pressure level of 270 bar assumed according to typical CNG refueling pressures.

  2. 2.

    The maximum attainable conversion was estimated as described in Sec. 1.2 assuming reaction conditions of maximum 350°C and 5 bar and considering a dew point of −10°C to meet feed-in regulation of gas grids.

  3. 3.

    Vehicle segments (number; average mileage in km/a/vehicle) according [8]: Micro (18815; 11684), Small (43736; 13352), Compact (74109; 16158), Sport (2888; 9640), Midsize (26766; 17240), Multi purpose (33931; 16975), Upper class(5328; 14386), SUV (96957; 17383), Luxury (5258; 18120), others (4452; 14993).


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Correspondence to Florian Kiefer .

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Kiefer, F., Schröter, K., Dimopoulos Eggenschwiler, P., Bach, C. (2021). Significance of Synthetic Methane for Energy Storage and CO2 Reduction in the Mobility Sector. In: Bargende, M., Reuss, HC., Wagner, A. (eds) 21. Internationales Stuttgarter Symposium. Proceedings. Springer Vieweg, Wiesbaden.

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