In November 2022, “e-methane” debuted at the Japan Gas Association (JGA) with much fanfare. This nearly carbon-neutral methane is synthetic; it is produced from captured CO2 and green hydrogen or other non-fossil energy sources.
For its production, any type of CO2 can be used as feedstock, so long as it does not contain sulfur or other impurities that cause catalysts to degrade. This in turn, however, raises questions such as from where the carbon is coming and what is the emission threshold for green hydrogen.
Amid all the excitement at the November event, the JGA even provided an “e- methane” logo to certify companies in the recycled carbon value chain. The move was probably premature. At the moment, no company has a specific timetable to commercialize e-methane.
To better understand the potential offered by e-methane and the challenges that its development faces, Japan NRG spoke to leading companies in the industry.