Value Chain: Source
As we move toward carbon-neutral power and transportation, natural gas plays a vital role. GTI Energy helps to harness the promise of gas-based energy to deliver clean and cost-effective energy to communities worldwide.
A major focus of GTI Energy’s work has always been expanding the supply of affordable natural gas. With abundant domestic supplies of gas available, the industry continues to seek new environmentally friendly ways to use it and extract the most value, while minimizing methane emissions.
Efficient natural gas technologies use less fuel, which reduces emissions and saves money. GTI Energy is developing clean residential energy appliances as well as commercial and industrial equipment that feature low environmental footprints.
The development of emerging energy-efficient technologies is one of the most important and easiest ways that we can lower energy consumption, reduce energy costs, and control greenhouse gas emissions. GTI Energy programs in power generation (including combined heat and power), transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial markets are targeted at efficiency and emission drivers. Our researchers have broad expertise in alternative combustion systems and approaches that lower the carbon intensity.
METHANE EMISSIONS MITIGATION
GTI Energy is working on a multitude of projects to quantify and mitigate methane emissions from various sources and identify opportunities for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The natural gas industry is focused—from upstream all the way through end use—on addressing methane emissions and minimizing greenhouse gases. GTI Energy is developing, validating, and integrating technologies and driving industry collaboration whilst serving as a proving ground to operationalize methane emission technology solutions at scale.
We are leveraging innovation and the new technologies needed to detect and reduce methane emissions, which will help to ensure we can harness the promise of natural gas as a source to deliver low-cost, low-carbon energy to communities worldwide, supporting human progress.
CREATING LIQUID FUELS AND HYDROGEN FROM NATURAL GAS
Blending renewable fuels with fossil fuels is a proven path for creating low-carbon fuels. GTI Energy is active in a range of biomass conversion processes and has extensive background in gas processing and clean-up technologies to produce gaseous and liquid biofuels suitable for a wide range of applications.
GTI Energy has developed several technologies for natural gas-to-liquid fuels (GTL) conversion processes. With funding support from ARPA-E, a partial oxidation gas turbine (POGT) technology was developed and tested, and the entire GTL system was and evaluated for economics.
GTI Energy has also developed a unique hydrogen generator technology that produces hydrogen from natural gas using Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming (SER). The technology inherently captures any CO2 produced in the process, and has the potential to produce high-purity hydrogen at up to 30% lower cost than conventional steam methane reforming methods. Two different active demonstrations of this technology are under way; one in the UK, with support from the UK Government’s department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Cranfield University and the other in the USA in Des Plaines.
Solar energy generation and storage will allow us to add more renewables to the U.S. energy mix. In addition, solar technologies can be integrated into natural gas systems to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. Lower-temperature solar thermal/natural gas systems can be applied to water/space heating and this potentially offers energy cost savings of 40% and a corresponding reduction in GHG.
Medium- to high-temperature solar collectors are applicable to heat-driven processes. Ultra-high temperature solar thermal/natural gas systems open up opportunities in commercial and industrial applications.
To reduce natural gas use and enable a higher penetration of solar energy into the U.S. energy mix, GTI Energy and University of California, Merced, have developed the disruptive high-temperature Solar Thermal with Storage (STS) technology, which can simultaneously generate electricity and storable heat.
In a U.S. Department of Energy H2@Scale project, GTI Energy and partners are designing, building, and operating one of the largest collections of renewable hydrogen production and end-use technologies ever assembled at one site. The hydrogen “proto-hub” includes multiple clean hydrogen production technologies such as the conversion of renewable natural gas, solar, and wind to hydrogen for use in a fuel cell for critical power generation applications, for passenger vehicle fuel, and even for powering fuel cell aerial drones.
This critical collaboration will consider factors such as community engagement and workforce development. Hydrogen can decarbonize multiple sectors, open a world of economic opportunity, create good paying jobs, and pave the way towards a grid powered by clean energy resources.