Hypersolar is developing a nanoparticle photosynthetic-based product that will produce natural gas from wastewater, carbon dioxide and the sun. Last week the company disclosed more information from its patent application concerning the process of producing renewable natural gas.
HyperSolar, based in Santa Barbara, California, was inspired by nature i.e. the technology to make natural gas is similar to the process of photosynthesis, that which plants use to create energy. The company is developing a solar-powered nanoparticle system that mimics photosynthesis to separate hydrogen from water. The hydrogen is then reacted with carbon dioxide to produce the methane, which is the primary component of natural gas. Hypersolar said that the resulting methane gas can be used as a direct replacement within existing systems that use natural gas.
Tim Young, CEO of Hypersolar adds; “For almost a century, scientists have tried and failed to ‘split water’ cost effectively to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Our process does not produce oxygen (O2), which has no significant value and is an expensive and slow reaction. Unlike conventional electrolysis, where hydrogen and oxygen atoms are completely disassociated using a large voltage, we designed our reactions to use a very small voltage and only produce hydrogen (H2).”
Young noted, that there has already been hundreds of billions of dollars invested in natural gas infrastructure. He believes a renewable natural gas fuel is a reality. However he says, the environmental risks associated with the extraction and usage of conventional natural gas is also a reality. The HyperSolar technology would create natural gas above ground, without drilling or mining.
The company intends to be competitive in future natural gas prices, and will lower its cost of production by solving wastewater and CO2 disposal problems.