EIT Climate-KIC supported start-up wins bid to transform Denmark’s green hydrogen production

BioCat Roslev ApS, a company controlled overseen by Electrochaea, has officially signed a contract with the Danish Energy Agency, securing up to EUR 9,5 million (DKK 71 million) in grant funding to support the country’s green hydrogen production. It is one of six projects to win the government’s first Power-to-X (PtX) tender, producing nearly 280 megawatts in combined electrolysis capacity.

PtX refers to technologies that produce fuels, chemicals and materials based on green hydrogen created through electrolysis – or in other words, the separation of water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. According to the Danish Energy Agency, PtX technology has a significant role to play in Denmark’s energy transition and achieving its decarbonisation targets.

Electrochaea’s technology produces synthetic methane, an alternative energy source that can be stored and transported in the existing gas grid. Electrochaea’s ‘e-methane’ is 78 per cent less carbon intensive than the natural gas used for heating and electricity.

The work on the Biocat Roslev project began in 2018 with support from both Denmark’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme and the European Innovation Council. Now the project is close to its completion, with the production of hydrogen and e-methane expected to start in 2026.

The Munich-based scale-up will use the capacity of nearby wind turbines, together with CO2 from the local Rybjerg biogas plant, to convert hydrogen into synthetic methane. The resulting ‘e-methane’ will then be fed into the Danish gas grid, reducing fossil fuel dependence across the region.

“The e-methane from the project will contribute to the replacement of fossil fuels in European transport and industry to the benefit of the climate,” says Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea. “We aim for the BioCat Roslev project to serve as a showcase for replication in Denmark, Europe, and North America.”

Electrochaea’s proprietary bio-methanation process works in two steps: First, water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyser powered by unwanted, underpriced or difficult-to-store renewable solar or wind power; then, the hydrogen is combined with carbon dioxide in the bio-methanation reactor where micro-organisms digest the gases to produce e-methane.

In 2022, Electrochaea was one of 90 beneficiaries selected for the Rapid Acceleration of Climate Entrepreneurship (RACE) pilot project, an EIT Climate-KIC and European Innovation Council collaboration. The results of the project generated a comprehensive report with key recommendations for improving Europe’s competitivity in the start-up market. The Electrochaea case study can be downloaded here.

This article was adapted from a press release published by the company on 15 December 2023.