Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), and IBM Japan, Ltd. jointly announced that they have built a demonstration system (the “System,” see Figure 1) for CO2NNEX for e-methane, a digital platform for visualising the amount of CO2 emissions across the value chain of e-methane (methane synthesised with the methanation technology) and transferring e-methane’s environmental value. CO2NNEX for e-methane is based on CO2NNEX, a digital platform being developed by MHI and IBM Japan for visualizing the CO2 supply chain. In conducting the PoC (Proof of Concept) of CO2NNEX for e-methane, the three partners will discuss and exchange views with the Japan Gas Association, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., and INPEX CORPORATION to identify effective ways to promote the use of e-methane and establish its environmental value.
Using the System, this tripartite project aims to achieve the following: A system for managing the amount of CO2emissions from its sources throughout the e-methane supply chain to provide the data of e-methane’s quantified environmental value to gas users; A shared platform that digitally connects e-methane production sites to markets for trading and transferring the environmental value of e-methane, which will be blended with natural gas in the pipeline. The three partners pursue this initiative, aiming to contribute to the transition to a net zero society, which requires practical solutions as currently studied, such as CO2 accounting methods for CCU (carbon dioxide capture and utilization), including methanation, and the application of the accounting methods for e-methane, a recycled-carbon fuel.
The System has been established as part of the partners’ joint project for another PoC that has been underway since October 2022 utilizing CO2NNEX. For the System, the partners have developed a feature that visualizes the amount of CO2emissions throughout the e-methane lifecycle, from production to transport, supply, and combustion (see Figure 2) and a feature that displays the balance of e-methane environmental value held by each participant and requests/authorizes the trading of the value (see Figure 3).
The project plans to conduct the demonstration to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of utilizing CO2NNEX for e-methane while promoting a wider recognition of the System to collect feedback from academia, industry, and government. The partners intend to apply the PoC results to planned methanation demonstrations, aiming to realise the practical application of e-methane and contribute to achieving a carbon neutral society.
Figure 2: Visualization of CO2 emissions
Figure 3: Transfer of e-methane’s environmental value