Underground Sun Conversion

Building on the research conducted so far, for the first time the Underground Sun Conversion project will enable production of natural gas directly within a gas reservoir using a microbiological process initiated specifically for this purpose by RAG, and to store it in the same reservoir.

This innovative method is unique worldwide, and recreates the natural process by which gas originates, but shortens it by millions of years – geological history in fast motion.

First, hydrogen is produced from solar or wind energy and water in an above-ground facility, and then injected into an existing gas (pore) reservoir, together with carbon dioxide – creating a sustainable carbon cycle. At a depth of over 1,000 metres, in a relatively short time naturally occurring microorganisms convert these substances into renewable natural gas which can be stored in the same reservoir, withdrawn as needed at any time, and transported to consumers via the existing pipeline network.

axiom’s work in the research project focuses on the conditioning of the product gas from the underground methanation. The main objective is the development of a membrane system for the separation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the withdrawn gas. Using this system, the produced gas is made compatible with the natural gas infrastructure and it can be injected into the gas grid.