Whitepaper on Synthetic Natural Gas

  • A new whitepaper by Stargate takes a closer look at Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), a green fuel that can be used as a drop-in replacement for reducing emissions of today’s engines.
  • The paper provides an overview of the main characteristics of SNG, its market potential, including the expected demand increase in the maritime sector, as well as the economics of SNG production.

The fuels of tomorrow are typically not fully compatible with our existing infrastructure: for example, a ship engine designed for burning diesel cannot switch to ammonia fuel without an engine re-build. A gas turbine powered by natural gas cannot change to running 100% hydrogen. While both ammonia-powered marine engines and hydrogen-fueled gas turbines are being developed, it is tempting to ask: which of the green fuels require least modifications of our existing infrastructure, i.e., vehicles, pipelines, gas stations, or even factories? The clear winner here is synthetic natural gas (SNG). SNG has all the traits of a green fuel but can be transported hassle-free using the existing natural gas transmission network and is interchangeable with conventional natural gas (NG).

SNG is natural gas’s green relative, and is produced by converting carbon dioxide and green hydrogen into methane in a process called methanation. Green hydrogen is in turn produced by electrolysis using low-carbon electricity. Both SNG and conventional natural gas consist mainly of methane (CH4). Therefore, SNG can be converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) in exactly the same way as natural gas. While most industrial sectors face a potentially challenging conversion to new types of fuels and energy carriers, the consumers of methane can make the green transition simply by replacing natural gas with SNG. In other words, SNG is a prospective drop-in replacement for applications that today rely on natural gas.

Rainer Küngas, the CTO of Stargate Hydrogen, comments: "The economics of SNG production are becoming increasingly interesting, as CO2 prices continue to rise and electrolysis costs continue to decrease. Compared to many other chemical processes, SNG production does not require huge plant sizes to reach high efficiencies. Our alkaline electrolysis technology is ideal for integration with SNG plants due to its reliability and technical maturity.“

Read the full whitepaper here.