Carbon dioxide may be a greenhouse gas, but it can also be a raw material source in industries such as plastics processing and renewable energy generation, where it could gradually replace natural gas and crude oil. Capturing carbon dioxide directly from air provides several advantages for combatting climate change. While limiting the atmospheric concentration of CO2, it offers new opportunities in the chemical industry and in transportation and could dramatically lower harmful emissions by cutting into fossil fuel demand.
Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of electrical energy is commonly known as water electrolysis. This process matches the oxyhydrogen experiments one may remember from the classroom, albeit in reverse. If the anode and cathode in an electrolyzer cell are separated by a semipermeable membrane or a diaphragm, the gases produced by the process can be directed out of the cell individually.
In June 2016, Dunod Verlag published a book in French about power-to-gas. The 192-page paperback edition “Le Power-to-Gas – Stockage de l’électricité d’origine renouvelable” (ISBN 13: 978-2-10-074137-3; price: EUR 32) describes the state of the art of P2G technology. Author Méziane Boudellal answers question such as: Where does the power come from? How does an electrolyzer work? Which types of systems have been available so far?
On July 8, the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2017 (EEG 2017) was passed by both houses of the German parliament. Its most important addition is that from 2017 on, “rather than being fixed by the government, future rates of renewables funding will be determined by the market by means of dedicated auction schemes,” the economy ministry announced. Whereas the parliamentary opposition and several environmental associations have criticized the EEG 2017, the BMWi described it as the “next phase of the energy transition.”